Prostate cancer (PCa) is a leading cause of cancer death in men due to the subset of cancers that metastasize to surrounding tissue. Understanding the mechanisms of cancer metastasis represents an unmet clinical need, and constitutes my long-term goal.
In a mechanical framework of metastatic-invasion of cancers, the ability of an individual cancer cell to evade its primitive tumor ecosystem, emigrate through its local stroma constituting a tortuous extracellular matrix (ECM), and disseminate to target organs entail, in time and space, biophysical transgressions in the cell-cell and cell-ECM interaction. However explicit this mechanical interplay might appear, to date, the rudimentary physics of cancer cell metastasis remains largely unexplained. It is equally unclear what cancer cells are primed to sense and avoid; how these external chemical and/or physical cues are assimilated; and, to what extent these signals are integrated with mechanical forces driving local cellular motions to metastatic-invasion of cancers.
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