Researchers Identify Protein Associated With Tumor Relapse

Researchers Identify Protein Associated With Tumor Relapse
Researchers from the University of Sheffield and University of Copenhagen identified a new mechanism of regulation of bone homeostasis and metastasis, paving the way to new therapeutic strategies with important clinical implications for breast cancer. The study is entitled “The hypoxic cancer secretome induces pre-metastatic bone lesions through lysyl oxidase” and was published in the journal Nature. Tumor metastasis is a very complicated process involving interactions between cancer cells and host stroma at both primary and secondary sites, and is highly influenced by microenvironmental factors such as hypoxia. The proteins released by the tumors have a pivotal role in these interactions and are potential therapeutic targets. Metastasis of breast cancer to the bone occur in about 85% of patients with advanced disease and is usually untreatable. In particular, osteolytic bone lesions, where the bone is destroyed, lead to incapacitating skeletal complications and increased patient morbidity and mortality. However, the molecular interactions leading to the primary events of osteolytic lesion formation are not well understood. In this study, the research team showed that hypoxia is specifically associated with bone relapse in patients with oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. They identified the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX) as the protein associated with bone-tropism of tumor cells and tumor relapse. The authors observed that high expression of LOX in primary breast tumours or systemic delivery of LOX, led to o
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