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The specific organization of the tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) is an intrinsic and basic step in the convoluted pathways of tumorigenesis. Fibrosarcoma is a rare, lethal, malignant tumor originating from fibroblasts, characterized by the formation of an abundant ECM. Fibroblastoid
cells undergoing malignant transformation specifically alter composition and organization of their ECM to facilitate growth, survival and invasion. Fibrosarcoma cells were shown to have a high content and turnover of ECM components including hyaluronan, proteoglycans, collagens, fibronectin
and laminin. Cell signaling by endogenous growth factors, such as TGFβ, EGF, FGF2, VEGF and IFG-I, is directly correlated to ECM remodeling, stroma formation and fibrosarcoma progression. In this regard, growth factors affect the expression of matrix macromolecules, such as secreted and
cell-associated proteoglycans, hyaluronan and its receptors CD44 and RHAMM, as well as the expression and activity of matrix- degrading metalloproteinases, which are of critical importance in tissue remodeling and fibrosarcoma progression. Therefore, therapeutic approaches considering growth
factors and their receptors as well as downstream signaling in human cancers may well be pharmacological targets being currently explored. In this article, we focus on growth factor signaling regulating fibrosarcoma cell ECM organization at the level of deposition and degradation of ECM macromolecules,
the relation of ECM remodeling with fibrosarcoma cell malignant behaviour as well as the putative strategies for its therapeutic intervention.
Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.