The Role of Tumor Microenvironment in Chemoresistance: To Survive, Keep Your Enemies Closer
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVE Improved prognosis for patients with peripheral neuroblastic tumors (PNB) depends on enhanced pretreatment risk stratification combined with research into new therapeutic targets. This study investigated the potential contribution of extracellular matrix (ECM) elements toward this endeavor. METHODS We characterized certain elements such as reticulin fibers, collagen type I fibers, and elastic fibers by digital pathology in almost 400 untreated PNB. RESULTS A reticular and poorly porous ECM was identified in neuroblastomas (NBs) from patients with clinical and biological features associated with poor prognosis compared with a loose and permeable matrix found in NBs of the favorable cohort. CONCLUSIONS Aggressiveness patterns of ECM can be accurately determined by morphometric tools and could become candidate elements for novel therapies.