The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the non-cellular component of tissue. Its composition and structure can vary between different tissues. The ECM transmits biochemical and biomechanical cues to the cells within it, ensuring tissue homeostasis. The ECM is a dynamic structure whose composition and organization can be modified as in the case of inflammation of tissue damaged by external aggressions.
Repeated injuries can lead to pathological mechanisms such as fibrosis, where the production of ECM is dysregulated, leading to its accumulation in scar tissue. Fibrosis can facilitate the initiation of cancers, which are characterized by the excessive proliferation of cancer cells carrying major genetic alterations. Indeed, the stiffness of the ECM, induced by its remodeling, creates a favorable ground stimulating the survival, proliferation, migration and invasion of cancer cells, leading to the formation of secondary tumors, also known as metastases. Cancers are known for their difficulty in their elimination, particularly when metastases appear and when resistance to conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy, is encountered. The important role played by the ECM in the development of pathologies, such as cancer, makes it a very attractive target for the development of new therapeutic approaches to treat these diseases.
ECM is composed of 300 differents molecules. Among ECM components, the hyaluronic acid (HA) is one of the principal glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found and there is also collagens, the most represented protein of the animal kingdom. Studies have shown that HA is overexpressed in tumoral microenvironment, so that component is favorable for recapitulating the pathological environment of cancer.
With the aim of doing a relevant environment for tumoral models, HCS Pharma can provide you with BIOMIMESYS® Oncology, a HydroscaffoldTM composed of HA and collagen I that aim three dimensional culture.
If you have any question about our culture matrix BIOMIMESYS, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We also want to warmly thank’s Tristan ESPIE-CAULLET for his huge bibliographic work on the subject of the extracellular matrix implication in the cancer development.