Publication: The Matrix in Cancer

Thomas R. Cox, Feb 2021

The Matrix in Cancer

Just published in Nature Reviews Cancer is the most recent review from the lab on the importance of the extracellular matrix in solid tumours.

Full-text access (view-only) is available via the following SharedIt link

Alterations in the extracellular matrix at the biochemical, biomechanical, architectural and topographilcal levels contribute to the development and progression of solid tumours. Our increased understanding of matrix biology is leading to the development of new approaches that co-target the matrix in cancer, including in metastasis.


The extracellular matrix is a fundamental, core component of all tissues and organs, and is essential for the existence of multicellular organisms. From the earliest stages of organism development until death, it regulates and fine-tunes every cellular process in the body. In cancer, the extracellular matrix is altered at the biochemical, biomechanical, architectural and topographical levels, and recent years have seen an exponential increase in the study and recognition of the importance of the matrix in solid tumours. Coupled with the advancement of new technologies to study various elements of the matrix and cell–matrix interactions, we are also beginning to see the deployment of matrix-centric, stromal targeting cancer therapies. This Review touches on many of the facets of matrix biology in solid cancers, including breast, pancreatic and lung cancer, with the aim of highlighting some of the emerging interactions of the matrix and influences that the matrix has on tumour onset, progression and metastatic dissemination, before summarizing the ongoing work in the field aimed at developing therapies to co-target the matrix in cancer and cancer metastasis.


Full-text access (view-only) is available via the following SharedIt link:


Cox TR. The Matrix in Cancer
Nature Reviews Cancer (2021) | doi 10.1038/s41568-020-00329-7