Mechanical forces are central to how cancer treatments such as chemotherapeutics and immunotherapies interact with cells and tissues. At the simplest level, electrostatic forces underlie the binding events that are critical to therapeutic function. However, a growing body of literature points to mechanical factors that also affect whether a drug or an immune cell can reach a target, and to interactions between a cell and its environment affecting therapeutic efficacy. These factors affect cell processes ranging from cytoskeletal and extracellular matrix remodeling to transduction of signals by the nucleus to metastasis of cells. This review presents and critiques the state of the art of our understanding of how mechanobiology impacts drug and immunotherapy resistance and responsiveness, and of the in vitro systems that have been of value in the discovery of these effects.
- Drug responsiveness
- Substrate compliance