Solid tumors are under mechanical pressure. While modifications of the stroma lead to an exogenous stromal-induced pressure, solid tumor growth in the elastically confining environment results in the emergence of an endogenous growth-induced pressure. The impact of mechanical pressure on cancer is still largely elusive and seems to depend on many parameters: While it sometimes limits tumor progression, it can also promote invasion and hinder therapy.
We study the impact of compressive stress on cancer progression and treatment, using state-of-the-art microfabrication techniques. Novel microphysiological systems permit in vitro studies of cell-matrix interactions, cell secretion, invasion, or drug resistance of pancreatic cancer cells under compressive stress.
Together with our colleague J. Guillermet-Guibert at CRCT, we additionally investigate in vivo the effect of compressive stress through imaging of the mechanical parameters defining a tumor and novel mice models to investigate controlled compression.