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Our recent data have demonstrated that the enteric nervous system (ENS), including enteric neurons and enteric glial cells, interacts with colorectal cancer (CRC) tumor cells resulting in the promotion of tumor growth and tumor cell migration. In this axis, we aim to further characterize the molecular mechanisms involved in the deleterious interactions between enteric neurons and tumor cells around established tumors. In addition, our preliminary data show that chronic psychological stress, by remodeling the ENS and by inducing colonic epithelial cells proliferation, could synergize with mutagenic compounds to promote CRC development. In this context we aim to study the impact of chronic psychological stress exposure on CRC initiation, as well as the involvement of ENS remodeling in this stress-dependent tumorigenesis. In the last project of this axis, we aim at identifying novel markers of tumor invasion in apparently early CRC using full field optical coherence tomography (FFOCT) innovative technology.
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