Neurofibromas are benign tumors comprised primarily of Schwann cells and fibroblasts. Mast cell infiltration is a well-known phenomenon; however, their role in tumor pathogenesis has been enigmatic. In an elegant set of experiments using cells derived from a murine model of neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), Yang et al. dissect the molecular pathways involved in mast cell migration to neurofibromin-deficient Schwann cells. These results set the stage for rational development of therapeutics that could influence the multicellular microenvironment of neurofibromas to inhibit the development and/or progression of these tumors in human NF
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