Biophysics of Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Metastasis - A Mini Review

Bashar Emon, Jessica Bauer, Yasna Jain, Barbara Jung, Taher Saif

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The role of tumor microenvironment in cancer progression is gaining significant attention. It is realized that cancer cells and the corresponding stroma co-evolve with time. Cancer cells recruit and transform the stromal cells, which in turn remodel the extra cellular matrix of the stroma. This complex interaction between the stroma and the cancer cells results in a dynamic feed-forward/feed-back loop with biochemical and biophysical cues that assist metastatic transition of the cancer cells. Although biochemistry has long been studied for the understanding of cancer progression, biophysical signaling is emerging as a critical paradigm determining cancer metastasis. In this mini review, we discuss the role of one of the biophysical cues, mostly the mechanical stiffness of tumor microenvironment, in cancer progression and its clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Activin/TGFβ
  • Cancer
  • ECM stiffness
  • Growth factors
  • Metastasis
  • Tumor biophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications


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