Breaking News
December 9, 2018 - Eliminating microglia can reverse some aspects of stress sensitization, study shows
December 9, 2018 - New genetic insight could help treat rare debilitating heart and lung condition
December 9, 2018 - MiRagen Therapeutics Announces Final Safety, Biodistribution and Clinical Efficacy Data From Phase 1 Cobomarsen Clinical Trial in Patients With Mycosis Fungoides
December 9, 2018 - Work with your doctor to weigh pros, cons of treatment options for hyperthyroidism
December 9, 2018 - CWRU researcher secures $14.6 million funding for genetic study into Alzheimer’s disease
December 9, 2018 - High intensity statin treatment and adherence could save more lives
December 9, 2018 - Surgery patients use only 1/4 of prescribed opioids, and prescription size matters
December 9, 2018 - AXT offers Phi Optics upgrade to QPI systems for inverted light microscopes
December 9, 2018 - New booklet could help improve conditions of young pupils with albinism
December 9, 2018 - Few Physicians Work in Practices That Use Telemedicine
December 9, 2018 - Older Adults and Oral Health
December 9, 2018 - Health utility values improve after septorhinoplasty
December 9, 2018 - New EU-funded project provides insight into how the brain develops
December 9, 2018 - Expanded use of tele-emergency services can help strengthen rural hospitals
December 9, 2018 - Infections in the Young May Be Tied to Risk for Mental Illness: Study
December 9, 2018 - Profile: Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders
December 9, 2018 - Snoring poses greater cardiac risk to women
December 9, 2018 - Researcher takes further steps in understanding how and why cute aggression occurs
December 9, 2018 - Researchers create new light-activated tools for controlling neurons
December 9, 2018 - Spinal cord injury disrupts the body’s internal clock, study shows
December 9, 2018 - Babies recognize nested structures similar to our grammar
December 9, 2018 - UT Austin researcher receives $2.5 million CZI grant for neurodegenerative disease research
December 9, 2018 - Sleep problems found to be prevalent and increasing among college students
December 9, 2018 - Study reveals why some children are susceptible to the effects of maltreatment
December 9, 2018 - Study investigates influence of different opioids on driving performance
December 9, 2018 - Jazz Pharmaceuticals Announces First Patient Enrolled in Phase 3 Clinical Trial Evaluating JZP-258 for the Treatment of Idiopathic Hypersomnia
December 9, 2018 - Eliminating microglia prevents heightened immune sensitivity after stress
December 9, 2018 - Boys with social difficulties are at greatest risk of early substance use
December 9, 2018 - ‘Wrong’ connective tissue cells linked to worse prognosis in breast cancer patients
December 8, 2018 - Chronic, refractory schizophrenia patients benefit from targeted cognitive training
December 8, 2018 - Advertising in kids’ apps more prevalent than parents may realize
December 8, 2018 - New way to trace the transmission histories of rare genetic diseases
December 8, 2018 - ASH: A+CHP Bests CHOP for Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma
December 8, 2018 - Results of pediatric genomic epilepsy tests often reclassified
December 8, 2018 - New way of controlling HIV latency to completely eradicate the virus
December 8, 2018 - Phasefocus to showcase the Livecyte 2 at ASCB
December 8, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Is health spending the next big political issue?
December 8, 2018 - Mussels take in microplastic pollution fibers and flush most of them out again
December 8, 2018 - AHA: How to Stop Smoking … for Good
December 8, 2018 - Scientists overturn odds to make Parkinson’s discovery
December 8, 2018 - Health benefits of producing marula vinegar
December 8, 2018 - Failure of critical cellular energy sensor responsible for CKD progression, study finds
December 8, 2018 - Ethnicity can be reliable indicator of gut microbiota diversity
December 8, 2018 - Safe Sleep for Baby | NIH News in Health
December 8, 2018 - Study looks at ways technology can support nutritional needs of Parkinson’s patients
December 8, 2018 - Infant milk allergy is being overdiagnosed say experts
December 8, 2018 - Graphene may one day be used to test for ALS
December 8, 2018 - Houston Methodist launches real-time website to track flu cases
December 8, 2018 - RedHill Announces Positive Top-Line Results from Confirmatory Phase 3 Study with Talicia for H. pylori Infection
December 8, 2018 - A way to measure obesity and health beyond BMI
December 8, 2018 - New diagnostic tools may help identify breast cancer patients who could benefit from targeted therapies
December 8, 2018 - Duke-NUS researchers highlight possible role of bioaerosol sampling in pandemic surveillance
December 8, 2018 - Study quantifies links between alcohol, drug use and violent deaths
December 8, 2018 - Mothers’ stress levels at conception linked to child’s response to life challenges at age 11
December 8, 2018 - MIT researchers develop antimicrobial peptides from South American wasp’s venom
December 8, 2018 - Obesity prevention among low-income, diverse preschool-aged children and parents
December 8, 2018 - Mount Sinai researcher awarded $2.5 million to advance understanding of neurodegenerative diseases
December 8, 2018 - CZI announces funding for open-source software efforts to improve image analysis in biomedicine
December 8, 2018 - New book encompasses the vast history of reproduction
December 8, 2018 - Low-income women in Texas are not receiving contraception after childbirth, study shows
December 8, 2018 - Study expands knowledge about sexuality and gender gaps in political attitudes
December 8, 2018 - Drug reduces hot flash frequency, improves quality of life in breast cancer survivors
December 8, 2018 - Imaging, Biopsy Often Still Needed After Mastectomy
December 8, 2018 - Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: 2nd edition
December 8, 2018 - Machine learning can improve chemical toxicity prediction
December 8, 2018 - Researchers explore why and how Mediterranean diet may mitigate cardiovascular risk
December 8, 2018 - Multigene test is a helpful decision making tool in breast cancer treatment, study shows
December 8, 2018 - New EZ-2 centrifugal evaporator to safely remove solvents from cytotoxic drug preparations
December 8, 2018 - UMGCCC uses Gammapod radiotherapy to treat breast cancer patients
December 8, 2018 - Men with inflammatory bowel disease have higher prostate cancer risk
December 8, 2018 - Newly developed molecules may provide more reliable relief for people with autoimmune diseases
December 8, 2018 - Exercise program during adjuvant breast cancer treatment may provide cardiovascular benefits
December 8, 2018 - Acutely injured deceased-donor kidneys are suitable for transplant, study suggests
December 8, 2018 - Researchers find two connective tissue cells to be linked to worse prognosis of breast cancer
December 8, 2018 - VCU researchers test vaccine against opioid abuse
December 8, 2018 - An App, Your Fingernail — and Anemia Screening Is Done
December 8, 2018 - New study offers hope for patients suffering from a rare form of blindness
December 8, 2018 - Study finds increasing risk of infections and antibiotic prescriptions after hip fracture surgery
December 8, 2018 - Biosense Webster treats first patient in U.S. IDE study of HELIOSTAR RF Balloon Ablation Catheter
December 8, 2018 - Researchers develop new molecular tool to decode sugar-protein attachments
Study shows novel strategy to reduce breast cancer bone metastasis

Study shows novel strategy to reduce breast cancer bone metastasis

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Uncovering a novel mechanism that promotes growth of breast cancer bone metastasis has revealed a potential Achilles’ heel for these cancer cells. Reported in the journal Cancer Cell, the study shows that interfering with this mechanism can reduce the risk of relapses in animal models.

“Metastasis is the dissemination of cancer cells from the original tumor location to other organs. In the case of breast cancer, bone is usually the most common site of metastasis,” said first author Dr. Hai Wang, instructor at the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center in the lab of Dr. Xiang ‘Shawn’ Zhang at Baylor College of Medicine.

Researchers have found that the bone microenvironment can promote the growth and progression of micrometastasis, a small group of cancer cells that separates from the original tumor and migrates to the bone. Bone support can contribute to full-blown metastasis that is strongly associated with poor prognosis.

“However, the early steps that encourage micrometastasis to grow and develop in this environment are not completely understood,” said Zhang, who is associate professor of molecular and cellular biology and the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine. “In this study, we further explored interactions between the bone microenvironment and cancer cells in bone metastasis.”

Working with animal models and with cancer cells in the lab using their bone-in-culture array, an experimental system in which they can mimic the interactions between cancer cells and bone cells, the researchers determined that bone cells called osteogenic cells and cancer cells establish a physical connection through gap junctions. This connection works like a tunnel through which calcium travels from the osteogenic cell to the cancer cell. The transfer of calcium can promote the early outgrowth of tumor cells that could lead to major bone metastasis.

The ‘seeds’ and the ‘soil’

“Blocking the calcium transfer that takes place through gap junctions as well as the activity of the mTOR pathway we previously determined results in cancer cells dying or having difficulty growing because they are lacking the support of the osteogenic cells,” said Zhang, who also is a McNair Scholar at Baylor and the corresponding author of this work. “This observation suggested a potential Achilles’ heel in micrometastasis that could be targeted with medications to reduce the risk of full-blown metastasis.”

In the lab, the researchers tested drugs that already have been approved for other conditions and found exciting results.

“A very short treatment that combined the drug everolimus, an mTOR inhibitor, and arsenic trioxide that affects calcium transport, significantly suppressed growth of bone metastasis in our mouse model,” Zhang said.

“I think that conceptually, these results are telling us that when studying cancer biology, we cannot ignore the microenvironment. We do need to consider the ‘seeds’ and the ‘soil’ in its entirety, rather than studying the seeds separate from the soil,” Wang said. “It was clear in our study that binding to bone cells rewires cancer cells so profoundly that they can become resistant to therapies they were expected to be sensitive to. They also may become sensitive to drugs that would not have been considered for cancer treatment.”

“We hope that with this and other studies in the lab we can achieve a better understanding of the ‘conversation’ between cancer and bone marrow, so we can stop cancer cells before they become macrometastasis or disseminate to other places,” Zhang said. “Although the drugs we tested have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat other conditions, there is still a number of steps that have to be fulfilled before they can be offered to treat micrometastasis in bone.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles