The uncontrolled growth of cancer cells within a confined tissue space generates residual stresses in solid tumors [1,2]. These stresses contribute to tumor progression, pathological cellular behavior, and compression of lymphatic and blood vessels [3–5]. A major consequence of vascular compression is a decrease in pathways available for blood flow and delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents, resulting in insufficient and heterogeneous delivery of chemotherapy and nanomedicine. The reduced perfusion also causes hypoxia and acidity — two important barriers to treatment efficacy and promoters of malignancy. In this work, we developed a strategy to quantify growth-induced residual stresses in tumors and investigate whether stress levels affect tumor growth rate and delivery of therapeutic agents. We found that stress levels are elevated in solid tumors and are sufficient to cause the collapse of blood vessels. In addition high stress levels were correlated to slower tumor growth.

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