Based on Guo et al, Oncogene, 2015

The tumor microenvironment (TME) is the cellular environment in which cancer cells exist and includes blood vessels, immune cells, fibroblasts, signalling molecules such as chemokines and the extracellular matrix. Increasing evidence indicates that the TME has critical roles in all aspects of cancer biology, such as cancer growth, blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), tumor spread (metastasis) and progression. The TME is therefore being targeted by biopharmaceutical companies developing new anti-cancer therapies.

It is now recognized that chemokines, such as CXCL12, create a permissive microenvironment for tumor growth and metastasis. Spiegelmers* have the ability to bind to two key sites in chemokine proteins to disrupt their activity and target them for destruction. The Spiegelmer technology is thus well adapted to create best-in-class products for this important class of targets in the TME.