Incorporating the Extracellular Matrix: New Opportunities in Cancer Research
2 July 2013
At least 80% of cancers are carcinomas, or tumours of the epithelia. Traditionally, cell transformation to a cancerous stage was evaluated by anchorage dependent growth, an assay more suited for fibroblasts. More recently, the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM), already established in normal epithelial biology, has come to the fore in the study of carcinomas. The extracellular matrix is composed of several protein families, notably laminins, collagens and fibronectin. This application note will be concentrating on ECM proteins most relevant to cancer research.