Understanding the regulating mechanism of tumor invasion is of crucial importance for both fundamental cancer research and clinical applications. Previous in vivo experiments have shown that invasive cancer cells dissociate from the primary tumor and invade into the stroma, forming an irregular invasive morphology. Although cell movements involved in tumor invasion are ultimately driven by mechanical forces of cell-cell interactions and tumor-host interactions, how these mechanical properties affect tumor invasion is still poorly understood. In this study, we use a recently developed two-dimensional cellular model to study the effects of mechanical properties on tumor invasion. We study the effects of cell-cell adhesions as well as the degree of degradation and stiffness of extracellular matrix (ECM). Our simulation results show that cell-cell adhesion relationship must be satisfied for tumor invasion. Increased adhesion to ECM and decreased adhesion among tumor cells result in invasive tumor behaviors. When this invasive behavior occurs, ECM plays an important role for both tumor morphology and the shape of invasive cancer cells. Increased stiffness and stronger degree of degradation of ECM promote tumor invasion, generating more aggressive tumor invasive morphologies. It can also generate irregular shape of invasive cancer cells, protruding towards ECM. The capability of our model suggests it a useful tool to study tumor invasion and might be used to propose optimal treatment in clinical applications.
|Title of host publication
|2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
|Number of pages
|Published - Nov 12 2014