Edna Cukierman, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia
Discerning the interplay between tumors and their microenvironment in the pathology of cancer
Not enough is known about the differences among extracellular matrices (ECMs) of different tissues, and in different pathologic states, to recapitulate them in vitro from commercial sources.
Cukierman induces fibroblasts (from diseased or normal tissue) to lay down a stromal matrix. She treats the confluent fibroblast cultures with an alkaline detergent solution to remove the cells, which leaves behind complex substrates of fibronectin, collagen, and other proteins. This, in turn, lets her interrogate how the differences among these...