Macrophages in multiple myeloma: key roles and therapeutic strategies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Macrophages are a vital component of the tumour microenvironment and crucial mediators of tumour progression. In the last decade, significant strides have been made in understanding the crucial functional roles played by macrophages in the development of the plasma cell (PC) malignancy, multiple myeloma (MM). Whilst the interaction between MM PC and stromal cells within the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment has been extensively studied, we are only just starting to appreciate the multifaceted roles played by macrophages in disease progression. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that macrophage infiltration is associated with poor overall survival in MM. Indeed, macrophages influence numerous pathways critical for the initiation and progression of MM, including homing of malignant cells to BM, tumour cell growth and survival, drug resistance, angiogenesis and immune suppression. As such, therapeutic strategies aimed at targeting macrophages within the BM niche have promise in the clinical setting. This review will discuss the functions elicited by macrophages throughout different stages of MM and provide a comprehensive evaluation of potential macrophage-targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer and Metastasis Reviews
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2021


  • Macrophages
  • Microenvironment
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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