The microenvironment of malignant gliomas is described according to its definition in the literature. Beside tumor cells, a series of stromal cells (microglia/macrophages, pericytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, normal and reactive astrocytes) represents the cell component, whereas a complex network of molecular signaling represents the functional component. Its most evident expressions are perivascular and perinecrotic niches that are believed to be the site of tumor stem cells or progenitors in the tumor. Phenotypically, both niches are not easily recognizable; here, they are described together with a critical revision of their concept. As for perinecrotic niches, an alternative interpretation is given about their origin that regards the tumor stem cells as the residue of those that populated hyperproliferating areas in which necroses develop. This is based on the concept that the stem-like is a status and not a cell type, depending on the microenvironment that regulates a conversion of tumor non-stem cells and tumor stem cells through a cell reprogramming.
Schiffer, D., Annovazzi, L., Mazzucco, M., & Mellai, M. (2015, December 3). The microenvironment in gliomas: Phenotypic expressions. Cancers. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers7040896