Summary and Info
Cells require interactions with extracellular matrix (ECM) components in order to undergo normal morphogenesis with respect to organogenesis. ECM plays a significant role in regulating numerous cellular functions, like cell shape, adhesion, migration, proliferation, polarity, differentiation and apoptosis. In pathological conditions such as cancer, increased synthesis of certain ECM components and/or increased breakdown with consequent generation of ECM cleavage products can contribute to cancer growth and progression. That many growth factors (i.e. FGF, VEGF) are stored in the ECM milieu and are released upon protease-dependent cleavage further confirms the importance of ECM in regulating cell functions. Cell-Extracellular Matrix Interactions in Cancer describes how ECM creates a niche for tumor formation and the contribution of ECM components and their respective receptors in the development and spread of cancer.