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      The extracellular matrix: A dynamic niche in cancer progression

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          Abstract

          The local microenvironment, or niche, of a cancer cell plays important roles in cancer development. A major component of the niche is the extracellular matrix (ECM), a complex network of macromolecules with distinctive physical, biochemical, and biomechanical properties. Although tightly controlled during embryonic development and organ homeostasis, the ECM is commonly deregulated and becomes disorganized in diseases such as cancer. Abnormal ECM affects cancer progression by directly promoting cellular transformation and metastasis. Importantly, however, ECM anomalies also deregulate behavior of stromal cells, facilitate tumor-associated angiogenesis and inflammation, and thus lead to generation of a tumorigenic microenvironment. Understanding how ECM composition and topography are maintained and how their deregulation influences cancer progression may help develop new therapeutic interventions by targeting the tumor niche.

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          Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation

          The hallmarks of cancer comprise six biological capabilities acquired during the multistep development of human tumors. The hallmarks constitute an organizing principle for rationalizing the complexities of neoplastic disease. They include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, resisting cell death, enabling replicative immortality, inducing angiogenesis, and activating invasion and metastasis. Underlying these hallmarks are genome instability, which generates the genetic diversity that expedites their acquisition, and inflammation, which fosters multiple hallmark functions. Conceptual progress in the last decade has added two emerging hallmarks of potential generality to this list-reprogramming of energy metabolism and evading immune destruction. In addition to cancer cells, tumors exhibit another dimension of complexity: they contain a repertoire of recruited, ostensibly normal cells that contribute to the acquisition of hallmark traits by creating the "tumor microenvironment." Recognition of the widespread applicability of these concepts will increasingly affect the development of new means to treat human cancer. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            The hallmarks of cancer.

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              Inflammation and cancer.

              Recent data have expanded the concept that inflammation is a critical component of tumour progression. Many cancers arise from sites of infection, chronic irritation and inflammation. It is now becoming clear that the tumour microenvironment, which is largely orchestrated by inflammatory cells, is an indispensable participant in the neoplastic process, fostering proliferation, survival and migration. In addition, tumour cells have co-opted some of the signalling molecules of the innate immune system, such as selectins, chemokines and their receptors for invasion, migration and metastasis. These insights are fostering new anti-inflammatory therapeutic approaches to cancer development.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Cell Biol
                J. Cell Biol
                jcb
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                0021-9525
                1540-8140
                20 February 2012
                : 196
                : 4
                : 395-406
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit , [2 ]Paterson Institute for Cancer Research , and [3 ]Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M20 4BX, England, UK
                [4 ]Department of Anatomy , [5 ]Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Graduate Program , and [6 ]Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Zena Werb: zena.werb@ 123456ucsf.edu
                201102147
                10.1083/jcb.201102147
                3283993
                22351925
                © 2012 Lu et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

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