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Cancers (Basel). 2018 Jul 10;10(7). pii: E230. doi: 10.3390/cancers10070230.

With Great Age Comes Great Metastatic Ability: Ovarian Cancer and the Appeal of the Aging Peritoneal Microenvironment.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. eharper1@nd.edu.
2
Harper Cancer Research Institute, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. eharper1@nd.edu.
3
Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. eharper1@nd.edu.
4
Harper Cancer Research Institute, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. esheedy1@nd.edu.
5
Department of Mathematics, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. esheedy1@nd.edu.
6
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. sstack@nd.edu.
7
Harper Cancer Research Institute, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. sstack@nd.edu.

Abstract

Age is one of the biggest risk factors for ovarian cancer. Older women have higher rates of diagnosis and death associated with the disease. In mouse models, it was shown that aged mice had greater tumor burden than their younger counterparts when intraperitoneally injected with ovarian tumor cells. While very few papers have been published looking at the direct link between ovarian cancer metastasis and age, there is a wealth of information on how age affects metastatic microenvironments. Mesothelial cells, the peritoneal extracellular matrix (ECM), fibroblasts, adipocytes and immune cells all exhibit distinct changes with age. The aged peritoneum hosts a higher number of senescent cells than its younger counterpart, in both the mesothelium and the stroma. These senescent cells promote an inflammatory profile and overexpress Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs), which remodel the ECM. The aged ECM is also modified by dysregulated collagen and laminin synthesis, increases in age-related crosslinking and increasing ovarian cancer invasion into the matrix. These changes contribute to a vastly different microenvironment in young and aged models for circulating ovarian cancer cells, creating a more welcoming “soil”.

KEYWORDS:

adipocytes; age; extracellular matrix; fibroblast; immune; mesothelial cells; ovarian cancer; peritoneum; tumor microenvironment

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