Tissue Architecture in Cancer Initiation and Progression

Susan E. Leggett, Celeste M. Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Tumors that originate from epithelial cells are referred to as carcinomas and represent the most frequently diagnosed cancers. Epithelial tissue is abundant throughout the body, where it lines organs to serve as a protective barrier against biological, chemical, and physical insults. As such, the maintenance of epithelial tissue architecture is critical for tissue homeostasis and healthy tissue functioning. The structure and function of epithelial tissues are largely influenced by the surrounding microenvironment, which is comprised of an acellular interstitial matrix and stromal cells. The makeup and architecture of this surrounding microenvironment are thus key players in cancer suppression, initiation, progression, and metastasis. Over the course of disease progression, the tumor microenvironment undergoes extensive extracellular matrix remodeling, while stromal cells infiltrate and undergo phenotypic switches to mediate tumor-suppressive and tumor-promoting roles. The detection of aberrant extracellular matrix and stromal cell infiltration and activation thus serve as important biomarkers of patient disease and may provide diagnostic and prognostic value. Consequently, a promising avenue for the future of personalized medicine is the development of targeted therapeutics aimed at normalizing the tumor microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomarkers of the Tumor Microenvironment, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030989507
ISBN (Print)9783030989491
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


  • ECM
  • Mechanical force
  • Mechanobiology
  • Tissue morphodynamics


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