The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the non-cellular component of the tissues of our organism. It is the dynamic element that maintains a biochemical structure capable of supporting the organization and architecture of the tissue constituents. The diversity of ECM’s constituents gives it the biochemical and biophysical properties necessary to regulate its behavior and differentiation. ECM has an important role in the biology of cancer cell development and progression. Human papillomavirus infection (HPV) is the principal etiological agent of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. It is a virus that can cause lesions precursors of epithelial squamous and glandular tumors. Type 16 (HPV16) is the leading cause of pre-malignant lesions and invasive cancers in these tissues. This work will focus on HPV infection to understand the role of ECM in the invasion, spread, and pathogenesis of the lesions caused by this virus. Cancer is no longer considered a pathology explained only by uncontrolled proliferation and apoptosis but also by the deregulation of the microenvironment.
Part of the book: Cervical Cancer