Published online Jun 21, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i23.5301
Peer-review started: March 20, 2016
First decision: April 14, 2016
Revised: April 22, 2016
Accepted: May 21, 2016
Article in press: May 23, 2016
Published online: June 21, 2016
Core tip: Tumor microenvironments have a crucial role in cancer initiation and progression, and consist of various types of cells, such as endothelial cells, leukocytes, and fibroblasts. Compared with endothelial cells and leukocytes, less attention has been paid to the roles of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), fibroblasts present in tumor tissues, because their heterogeneity hinders the elucidation on them at cellular and molecular levels. Here, we will discuss the origin of CAFs and their crucial roles in cancer initiation and progression, and the possibility to develop a novel type of anti-cancer treatment by manipulating the migration and functions of CAFs.