Phenotypical and Functional Heterogeneity Analysis of CAFs in TME

The heterogeneity in phenotype and function of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) within the tumor microenvironment (TME) is a sophisticated and evolving occurrence that holds a central part in tumor advancement and therapy response. Alfa Cytology offers an exhaustive characterization service to reveal the unique traits of CAF subsets and their associated functional implications.

Heterogeneity of CAFs in TME

The TME plays a crucial role in cancer development and progression, and one of the key cell types within the TME is CAFs. CAFs have garnered significant attention due to their phenotypic and functional heterogeneity. The heterogeneity of CAFs stems from their ability to exhibit varied characteristics, functions, and origins within the tumor microenvironment. Various factors contribute to this heterogeneity, including the tissue of origin, the stage of tumor development, and the specific signals and interactions within the TME. Understanding the diverse characteristics and roles of CAFs in the TME is of paramount importance for developing effective cancer treatments.

Schematic representation of CAF heterogeneityFig. 1 Schematic representation of CAF heterogeneity. (Mhaidly R, et al., 2020)

Phenotypical and Functional Heterogeneity Analysis of CAFs in TME

At Alfa Cytology, we specialize in providing comprehensive characterization services for CAFs in the TME. Our advanced technologies and expertise allow us to investigate the heterogeneity of CAF populations at a single-cell resolution, enabling a deeper understanding of their phenotypes, functions, and interactions with other cell types in the TME. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Characterizing CAF Subsets in TME
    By identifying distinct subpopulations of CAFs based on their gene expression profiles, we can uncover unique functional and phenotypical characteristics associated with different CAF subsets.
  • CAF Proteomic Profiling
    By employing mass spectrometry-based techniques, we can identify and quantify proteins in CAFs, shedding light on their functional diversity and potential signaling pathways involved in tumor-stroma interactions. This comprehensive proteomic analysis complements the transcriptomic data, providing a more comprehensive understanding of CAF heterogeneity in the TME.
  • CAF Functional Assays
    We offer a range of functional assays to assess the capabilities of CAFs. These include migration assays, invasion assays, and 3D co-culture systems that mimic the TME. By examining the functional behavior of CAFs, we can decipher their roles in promoting tumor cell invasion, angiogenesis, and immune modulation. These assays provide valuable insights into the functional heterogeneity of CAFs and their impact on tumor behavior.
  • CAF Spatial Analysis
    We utilize imaging techniques, such as multiplex immunofluorescence and spatial transcriptomics, to investigate the spatial distribution of CAF subsets and their interactions with other cell types. This spatial analysis provides valuable information on the spatial heterogeneity of CAFs and their proximity to tumor cells and immune infiltrates, offering insights into their functional crosstalk within the TME.

The Advantages of Our CAF Heterogeneity Analysis

  • From spatial analysis to multi-omics integration, we leverage innovative approaches to unlock new insights.
  • We employ bioinformatics pipelines and computational tools to uncover hidden patterns and identify novel CAF subsets, providing you with a comprehensive analysis of your data.
  • Our experts work closely with you to understand your specific research goals and design experiments tailored to your needs. Whether you require a specific subset analysis or functional assays, we can create a customized approach to address your scientific questions.

At Alfa Cytology, our commitment is to assist you in unravelling the complex layers of CAF phenotypical and functional diversity within the TME. By leveraging our expertise and integration of multi-omics approaches, we offer valuable insights into the intricate dynamics between CAFs and the TME. Contact us today to unlock the full potential of your CAF studies.


  1. Mhaidly R, et al. Fibroblast heterogeneity in tumor micro-environment: Role in immunosuppression and new therapies. Semin Immunol, 2020;48:101417.

All of our services and products are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.


Alfa Cytology is a service provider specializing in tumor microenvironment research.

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