Study Reveals a Weakness of Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis

Study Reveals a Weakness of Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis
A new study analyzing the cross-talk between bone cells and cancer cells in metastatic breast cancer models may have uncovered a weakness that can be exploited to stop breast cancer from spreading to the bone. The study, "The Osteogenic Niche Is a Calcium Reservoir of Bone Micrometastases and Confers Unexpected Therapeutic Vulnerability," was published in Cancer Cell. When cancer metastasizes, cancer cells leave the original tumor, migrate through the bloodstream, and take up residence in other organs, often quite far from the primary tumor. Sometimes, these cells grow into metastatic lesions, which can be deadly. In breast cancer, bone metastases, where cancerous breast cells start growing in the bone, are serious complications. Yet, the environment of the bone is very different from that of the breast. So, how does a breast cell survive in this new landscape, much less grow into a clinically relevant tumor? By better understanding this process, researchers hope to find ways to stop it. "In this study, we further explored interactions between the bone microenvironment and cancer cells in bone metastasis," Hai Wang, PhD, one of the study authors, said in a press release. Researchers examined the gene expression profiles (which genes were turned on or off) of different breast cancer metastases in published datasets, and they noticed that a n
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