Modeling Stromal–Epithelial Interactions

  • Omar E. Franco
  • Douglas W. Strand
  • Simon W. Hayward


Modeling the microenvironment of cancer cells has become of particular interest due to increasing evidence linking phenotypic and genotypic alterations within the stromal compartment to the progression of tumors. The dynamic interactions between cancer cells and their host environment can contribute to some of the most destructive characteristics of cancer, including loss of growth control, invasion, and metastasis. While most current cancer models have been focusing on changes in the epithelial compartment, much less is known about the stromal cells and their contribution to the carcinogenic process. An understanding of the tumor microenvironment provides additional targets for preempting cancer and allows the development of better methods for treating it. There have been many attempts to study interactions between tumors and their environment, using in vitro and in vivo models. The value of each of these approaches depends upon the question to be addressed. We will examine some of the most common systems and discuss their utility, as well as propose future challenges for developing new models.


Prostate Cancer Stromal Cell Hepatocyte Growth Factor Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia Renal Capsule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work of the authors is supported by funding through NIH grants U54 CA126505, U54 CA113007, R01 DK067049, by DOD-PCRP grant W81XWH-07-1-0479 and by the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories of the TJ Martell Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omar E. Franco
    • 1
  • Douglas W. Strand
    • 1
  • Simon W. Hayward
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Urologic SurgeryVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Urologic Surgery, Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Urologic SurgeryVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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