Colon cancer remains the third most common cause of cancer in the US, and the third most common cause of cancer death. Worldwide, colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer and cancer deaths. At least 25% of patients still present with metastatic disease, and at least 25-30% will develop metastatic colon cancer in the course of their disease. While chemotherapy and surgery remain the mainstay of treatment, understanding the fundamental cellular niche and mechanical properties that result in metastases would facilitate both prevention and cure. Advances in biomaterials, novel 3D primary human cells, modelling using microfluidics and the ability to alter the physical environment, now offers a unique opportunity to develop and test impactful treatment.
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