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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 103923, 18 pages
Review Article

Hyaluronan and RHAMM in Wound Repair and the “Cancerization” of Stromal Tissues

1London Regional Cancer Program, London Health Sciences Centre, Room A4-931A 790 Commissioners Road East, London, ON, Canada N6A 4L6
2Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Masonic Comprehensive Cancer Center, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
3Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 4V2

Received 25 April 2014; Accepted 4 July 2014; Published 4 August 2014

Academic Editor: George Tzanakakis

Copyright © 2014 Cornelia Tolg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tumors and wounds share many similarities including loss of tissue architecture, cell polarity and cell differentiation, aberrant extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling (Ballard et al., 2006) increased inflammation, angiogenesis, and elevated cell migration and proliferation. Whereas these changes are transient in repairing wounds, tumors do not regain tissue architecture but rather their continued progression is fueled in part by loss of normal tissue structure. As a result tumors are often described as wounds that do not heal. The ECM component hyaluronan (HA) and its receptor RHAMM have both been implicated in wound repair and tumor progression. This review highlights the similarities and differences in their roles during these processes and proposes that RHAMM-regulated wound repair functions may contribute to “cancerization” of the tumor microenvironment.