Basak GW, Srivastava AS, Malhotra R, Carrier E. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009 Apr;10(3):345-6. Review.
“Niche” is defined as a specialized regulatory microenvironment, consisting of components which control the fate specification of stem and progenitor cells, as well as maintaining their development by supplying the requisite factors. Bone marrow (BM) niche has a well-organized architecture and is composed of osteoblasts, osteoclasts, bone marrow endothelial cells, stromal cells, adipocytes and extracellular matrix proteins (ECM). These elements play an essential role in the survival, growth and differentiation of diverse lineages of blood cells, but also provide optimal growth environment for multiple hematological malignancies including multiple myeloma (MM). MM is a neoplastic plasma cell disorder which not only resides in BM but also converts it into specialized neoplastic niche. This niche aids the growth and spreading of tumor cells by a complex interplay of cytokines, chemokines, proteolytic enzymes and adhesion molecules.