Figure 8.

Model for advancement of mammary epithelial tumors by increased stromal collagen. Increased fibrillar collagen in the mammary stroma directly regulates the three-dimensional mechanical microenvironment of mammary epithelial cells, influencing proliferation and phenotype. In addition, increased collagen advances a feed-forward loop with fibroblasts to promote additional collagen deposition and an increased stromal/fibroblast population resulting in increased paracrine signaling to mammary epithelial cells. The net result is increased epithelial proliferation/tumor formation and a more invasive and metastatic phenotype.

Provenzano et al. BMC Medicine 2008 6:11   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-6-11
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