About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 485156, 8 pages
Review Article

CD73-Generated Adenosine: Orchestrating the Tumor-Stroma Interplay to Promote Cancer Growth

Centre de Recherche, Centre Hospitalier, Faculté de Pharmacie l’Université de Montréal et Institut du Cancer de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada H2L 4M1

Received 19 June 2012; Accepted 5 July 2012

Academic Editor: Karen M. Dwyer

Copyright © 2012 Bertrand Allard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite the coming of age of cancer immunotherapy, clinical benefits are still modest. An important barrier to successful cancer immunotherapy is that tumors employ a number of mechanisms to facilitate immune escape, including the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, the recruitment of regulatory immune subsets, and the production of immunosuppressive metabolites. Significant therapeutic opportunity exists in targeting these immunosuppressive pathways. One such immunosuppressive pathway is the production of extracellular adenosine by CD73, an ectonucleotidase overexpressed in various types of cancer. We hereafter review the biology of CD73 and its role in cancer progression and metastasis. We describe the role of extracellular adenosine in promoting tumor growth through paracrine and autocrine action on tumor cells, endothelial cells, and immune cells.