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J Biomed Opt. 2013 Mar;18(3):31106. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.3.031106.

Second harmonic generation reveals matrix alterations during breast tumor progression.

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University of Rochester, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


Alteration of the extracellular matrix in tumor stroma influences efficiency of cell locomotion away from the primary tumor into surrounding tissues and vasculature, thereby affecting metastatic potential. We study matrix changes in breast cancer through the use of second harmonic generation (SHG) of collagen in order to improve the current understanding of breast tumor stromal development. Specifically, we utilize a quantitative analysis of the ratio of forward to backward propagating SHG signal (F/B ratio) to monitor collagen throughout ductal and lobular carcinoma development. After detection of a significant decrease in the F/B ratio of invasive but not in situ ductal carcinoma compared with healthy tissue, the collagen F/B ratio is investigated to determine the evolution of fibrillar collagen changes throughout tumor progression. Results are compared with the progression of lobular carcinoma, whose F/B signature also underwent significant evolution during progression, albeit in a different manner, which offers insight into varying methods of tissue penetration and collagen manipulation between the carcinomas. This research provides insights into trends of stromal reorganization throughout breast tumor development.

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