Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Biol Chem. Mar 27, 2021; 12(2): 15-37
Published online Mar 27, 2021. doi: 10.4331/wjbc.v12.i2.15
Understanding the function of the tumor microenvironment, and compounds from marine organisms for breast cancer therapy
Rama Rao Malla, Batoul Farran, Ganji Purnachandra Nagaraju
Rama Rao Malla, Department of Biochemistry and Bioinformatics, GITAM (Deemed to be University), Visakhapatnam 530045, AP, India
Batoul Farran, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, United States
Ganji Purnachandra Nagaraju, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, United States
Author contributions: All authors design, collect, wrote, and edit the paper.
Conflict-of-interest statement: None.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Ganji Purnachandra Nagaraju, DSc, PhD, Instructor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, 1365 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, United States.
Received: December 23, 2020
Peer-review started: December 23, 2020
First decision: January 11, 2021
Revised: January 13, 2021
Accepted: February 20, 2021
Article in press: February 20, 2021
Published online: March 27, 2021

The pathology and physiology of breast cancer (BC), including metastasis, and drug resistance, is driven by multiple signaling pathways in the tumor microenvironment (TME), which hamper antitumor immunity. Recently, long non-coding RNAs have been reported to mediate pathophysiological develop-ments such as metastasis as well as immune suppression within the TME. Given the complex biology of BC, novel personalized therapeutic strategies that address its diverse pathophysiologies are needed to improve clinical outcomes. In this review, we describe the advances in the biology of breast neoplasia, including cellular and molecular biology, heterogeneity, and TME. We review the role of novel molecules such as long non-coding RNAs in the pathophysiology of BC. Finally, we provide an up-to-date overview of anticancer compounds extracted from marine microorganisms, crustaceans, and fishes and their synergistic effects in combination with other anticancer drugs. Marine compounds are a new discipline of research in BC and offer a wide range of anti-cancer effects that could be harnessed to target the various pathways involved in BC development, thus assisting current therapeutic regimens.

Keywords: Breast cancer, Tumor microenvironment, Long non-coding RNAs, Growth, Metastasis, Angiogenesis, Marine compounds

Core Tip: Breast cancer (BC) is an aggressive and heterogenous disease. The BC tumor microenvironment contributes to immune evasion and chemoresistance in BC. Long non-coding RNAs contribute to BC pathophysiology and are potential BC biomarkers. Marine compounds display promising anticancer activity against BC. The use of novel bioengineering tools will enormously help in improving their production and clinical development for the treatment of BC and other cancers.