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Kimm, Melanie A.; Klenk, Christopher; Alunni-Fabbroni, Marianna; Kästle, Sophia; Stechele, Matthias; Ricke, Jens; Eisenblaetter, Michel and Wildgruber, Moritz (2021): Tumor-Associated Macrophages-Implications for Molecular Oncology and Imaging. In: Biomedicines, Vol. 9, No. 4, 374

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Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) represent the largest group of leukocytes within the tumor microenvironment (TME) of solid tumors and orchestrate the composition of anti- as well as pro-tumorigenic factors. This makes TAMs an excellent target for novel cancer therapies. The plasticity of TAMs resulting in varying membrane receptors and expression of intracellular proteins allow the specific characterization of different subsets of TAMs. Those markers similarly allow tracking of TAMs by different means of molecular imaging. This review aims to provides an overview of the origin of tumor-associated macrophages, their polarization in different subtypes, and how characteristic markers of the subtypes can be used as targets for molecular imaging and theranostic approaches.

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