Tumor-associated fibrosis is characterized by unchecked pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory signaling. The components of fibrosis including significant numbers of cancer-associated fibroblasts, dense collagen deposition, and extracellular matrix stiffness, are well appreciated regulators of tumor progression but may also be critical regulators of immune surveillance. While this suggests that the efficacy of immunotherapy may be limited in highly fibrotic cancers like pancreas, it also suggests a therapeutic opportunity to target fibrosis in these tumor types to reawaken anti-tumor immunity. This review discusses the mechanisms by which fibrosis might subvert tumor immunity and how to overcome these mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1037-1048
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fibrosis
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Regulatory myeloid suppressor cells
  • Tumor immunity
  • Tumor microenvironment


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