Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are major components of the surrounding stroma of carcinomas that emerge in the tumor microenvironment as a result of signals derived from the cancer cells. Biochemical cross-talk between cancer cells and CAFs as well as mechanical remodeling of the stromal extracellular matrix (ECM) by CAFs are important contributors to tumor cell migration and invasion, which are critical for cancer progression from a primary tumor to metastatic disease. In this review, we discuss key paracrine signaling pathways between CAFs and cancer cells that promote cancer cell migration and invasion. In addition, we discuss physical changes that CAFs exert on the stromal ECM to facilitate migration and invasion of cancer cells.

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