Defining the role of solid stress and matrix stiffness in cancer cell proliferation and metastasis
SourceFrontiers in Oncology
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Solid tumors are characterized by an abnormal stroma that contributes to the development of biomechanical abnormalities in the tumor microenvironment. In particular, these abnormalities include an increase in matrix stiffness and an accumulation of solid stress in the tumor interior. So far, it is not clearly defined whether matrix stiffness and solid stress are strongly related to each other or they have distinct roles in tumor progression. Moreover, while the effects of stiffness on tumor progression are extensively studied compared to the contribution of solid stress, it is important to ascertain the biological outcomes of both abnormalities in tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this review, we discuss how each of these parameters is evolved during tumor growth and how these parameters are influenced by each other. We further review the effects of matrix stiffness and solid stress on the proliferative and metastatic potential of cancer and stromal cells and summarize the in vitro experimental setups that have been designed to study the individual contribution of these parameters. © 2018 Kalli and Stylianopoulos.