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Visualizing movement in the tumor microenvironment landscape

Veronica Calvo and Paraic A Kenny*

Author Affiliations

Department of Developmental & Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA

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Breast Cancer Research 2013, 15:301  doi:10.1186/bcr3359

Published: 15 January 2013


The local microenvironment influences tumor progression in several important ways. A recent study by Nguyen-Ngoc and colleagues used explants of primary human and mouse mammary tumors to examine how the composition of the extracellular matrix modulates tumor cell invasion. Culture in the presence of a three-dimensional laminin-rich basement membrane, similar to the mammary basement membrane in vivo, resulted in minimal invasion. In contrast, identical tumor fragments in a collagen I matrix which resembles the interstitial breast stroma exhibited a pronounced protrusive migration and local dissemination. These data emphasize the importance of the laminin-rich basement membrane in constraining tumor cell invasion.