Biomechanics of Pancreatic Cancer

  Clockwise from top right: location of pancreas; enhanced brightfield image of pancreatic stellate cells; two-photon second harmonic image of a normal pancreatic tissue showing collagen distribution around the pancreatic ducts.

Clockwise from top right: location of pancreas; enhanced brightfield image of pancreatic stellate cells; two-photon second harmonic image of a normal pancreatic tissue showing collagen distribution around the pancreatic ducts.

Pancreatic cancer has kept for decades one of the poorest prognosis in medicine (see below). Historically, cancer research has focused on the cancer cells per se, but increasing evidences show that stroma – cancer cell interactions are fundamental for cancer development. This is particularly relevant for stromal pancreatic stellate cells, which form the desmoplastic stroma in pancreatic cancer. Stellate cells can trigger cancer cell proliferation and invasion, and their behaviours are conditioned by the presence of cancer cells. Our group is interested in using biophysical approaches to study the biomechanical properties of stromal stellate cells, pancreatic cancer cells, and their mutual interactions.