Respect Thy Neighbor!

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Science  06 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5659, pp. 775-777
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094412

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The tissue microenvironment surrounding tumor cells may not be just a passive bystander during tumorigenesis. In their Perspective, Radisky and Bissell discuss new work showing that mice with stromal cells unable to respond to the cytokine TGF-rapidly develop epithelial tumors ( Bhowmick et al.). The Perspective authors explore the implications of the finding that stromal cells are a protective influence on epithelial cells, preventing them from becoming tumorigenic.