connective tissue cells of an
found in the loose connective tissue. These are most often associated with the
bone marrow precursor cells, and the
ovary as well as the
hematopoietic system and elsewhere. These are the cells that make up the support structure of biological tissues and support the
endothelial cells, and
are the most common types of stromal cells. The interaction between stromal cells and
tumor cells is known to play a major role in
cancer growth and progression.
Stromal cells near the bottom of the
(the very top layer of the skin) release
growth factors that promote
cell division. This keeps the epidermis regenerating from the bottom while the top layer of cells on the epidermis are constantly being "sloughed" off of the body. Certain types of skin cancers (
basal cell carcinomas) cannot spread throughout the body because the cancer cells require nearby stromal cells to continue their division. The loss of these stromal growth factors when the
cancer moves throughout the body prevents the cancer from invading other organs.