Beyond the M-CSF receptor - novel therapeutic targets in tumor-associated macrophages

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) are by now established as important regulators of tumor progression by impacting on tumor immunity, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Hence, a multitude of approaches are currently pursued to intervene with TAM's protumor activities, the most advanced of which being a blockade of macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF)/M-CSF receptor (M-CSFR) signaling. M-CSFR signaling largely impacts on the differentiation of macrophages, including TAM, and hence strongly influences the numbers of these cells in tumors. However, a repolarization of TAM toward a more antitumor phenotype may be more elegant and may yield stronger effects on tumor growth. In this respect, several aspects of TAM behavior could be altered, such as their intratumoral localization, metabolism and regulatory pathways. Intervention strategies could include the use of small molecules but also new generations of biologicals which may complement the current success of immune checkpoint blockers. This review highlights current work on the search for new therapeutic targets in TAM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-787
Number of pages11
JournalThe FEBS Journal
Issue number4
Early online date20 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • biologicals
  • immunotherapy
  • M-CSF receptor
  • metabolism
  • small molecule inhibitors
  • tumor microenvironment
  • tumor-associated macrophages


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