Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Edie Goldsmith

Abstract

Mechanical stimuli have been found to influence tumor cell proliferation and metastasis with increased stiffening of the extracellular matrix being a hallmark of tumorigenesis. This thesis examines the role of the extracellular environment surrounding tumors, the tumor stroma, and investigates what effects the components within the stroma have on tumorigenesis. In addition, which components of the extracellular matrix contribute to that stiffening and how those components contribute to tumorigenesis will also be discussed. The cancer-associated fibroblast and the tumor-associated macrophage intimately influence the homeostasis between the tumor and extracellular matrix and can affect the survival and proliferation of tumor cells. This review will address how mechanical alterations in the reactive stroma contribute to tumorigenesis through their effects on cancer-associated fibroblasts. These cells sense and respond to mechanical changes in the extracellular environment as tumorigenesis occurs, and how they respond can affect tumor development.

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