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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Volume 53, August 2014, Pages 450-458.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.biocel.2014.06.012. Copyright ©

Elsevier Inc.


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) represents one of the most frequently diagnosed tumours and contributes significant mortality worldwide. Recent deep sequencing of cancer genomes has identified common mutations in SCC arising across different tissues highlighting perturbation of squamous differentiation as a key event. At the same time significant data have been accumulating to show that common tumour-stroma interactions capable of driving disease progression are also evident when comparing SCC arising in different tissues. We and others have shown altered matrix composition surrounding SCC can promote tumour development. This review focuses on some of the emerging data with particular emphasis on SCC of head and neck and skin with discussion on the potential tumour suppressive properties of a normal microenvironment. Such data indicate that regardless of the extent and type of somatic mutation it is in fact the tumour context that defines metastatic progression.

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