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How MSCs Differentiate into iCAFs

The mechanisms determining the heterogeneity of stromal populations in the tumor microenvironment remain poorly understood. A recent STEM CELLS study from the lab of David R. Rowley (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA) identifies ELF3 (E74 Like ETS Transcription Factor 3) as an essential transcription factor regulating the differentiation of a critical pro-inflammatory stromal cell type (carcinoma-associated fibroblasts exhibiting an inflammatory phenotype or iCAFs) and provides evidence for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as iCAF progenitors cells.