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Tumor Microenvironment

Scope of this initiative within the CMB:

It is well established that the tumor microenvironment plays a role in progression as well as emergence of “malignant” traits, i.e., invasiveness and metastasis. The local matrix composition is likely a major determinant, but quantitative studies in this regard are few. For example, basement membranes are specialized types of extracellular matrix that form the dominant environment of epithelial cells, both normal and transformed. They are likely to transact stimuli that regulate epithelial proliferation, survival and motility, all critical properties of tumor cells. These stimuli are probably controlled by and/or coordinated with matrix composition in tissues undergoing formation, remodeling or healing, and are likely to be present in the tumor microenvironment.

Basement membranes and other types of extracellular matrix are an integral part of morphogenetic epithelial movements such as ingression, delamination, invagination, and tube or sheet migration. In tumor tissue, however disorganized it may be, morphogenesis is also likely active. A quantitative evaluation of the tumor microenvironment in progression and invasion is therefore an important goal, which will require its definition in terms of extracellular matrix composition, and conversely the ability to reproduce this matrix composition under controlled experimental conditions. The CMB intends to support both analytical studies on tumor microenvironment matrix composition, and to foster the availability of purified matrix macromolecules for controlled reconstitution studies.


  Members (17)

Borza, Dorin-Bogdan
Caldwell, Robert L.
Chen, Jin
Davidson, Jeffrey M.
Harris, Raymond C.
Hudson, Billy G.
Lin, Charles
Matrisian, Lynn M.
Moeckel, Gilbert
Pedchenko, Vadim
Penn, John S.
Pozzi, Ambra
Quaranta, Vito
Weaver, Alissa M.
Wikswo, John P.
Zutter, Mary M.

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