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The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an increasingly recognised role in the development and progression of cancer. Whilst significant progress has been made in targeting aspects of the tumour microenvironment such as tumour immunity and angiogenesis, there are no therapies that address the cancer ECM. Importantly, immune function relies heavily on the structure, physics and composition of the ECM, indicating that cancer ECM and immunity are mechanistically inseparable. In this review we highlight mechanisms by which the ECM shapes tumour immunity, identifying potential therapeutic targets within the ECM. These data indicate that to fully realise the potential of cancer immunotherapy, the cancer ECM requires simultaneous consideration.

Original publication

DOI

10.3390/cancers12113331

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cancers (Basel)

Publication Date

11/11/2020

Volume

12

Keywords

cancer, collagen, extracellular matrix, fibronectin, immune, immune checkpoint, immunity, metastasis, microenvironment, therapy