Mechanics – a forgotten but critical hallmark of cancer

Host: Buzz Baum, University College London


Room: Room 12

Cells are often treated as if they are information processing devices. However, they are also physical systems that have well-defined and functionally important material properties. Further, forces generated by cells are required to change the shape and position of cells. Importantly, cancer is accompanied by profound changes in cell and tissue mechanics. These are used to diagnose cancer (palpation) and play an important, if poorly understood, role in cancer progression. In this session, the audience will be learn the importance of thinking about cells and tissues in this way and some of ways altered mechanics contribute to cancer progression.

Stromal/leukocyte crosstalk in immunity and tumour progression
Mechanical guidance of collective cell invasion
Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts exert mechanical forces on the basement membrane to help cancer cell invasion