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Signaling between tumor cells and the host bone marrow microenvironment


Tumor cells with high skeletal homing affinity express numerous cell surface receptors that bind ligands produced in bone. Upon arrival, these cells survive in the host environment, encompassed in close proximity to bone marrow cells. Interactions between tumor cells and cells of the host microenvironment are essential to not only tumor cell survival but also their activation and proliferation into environment-modifying tumors. Through the production of RANKL, PTHrP, cytokines, and integrins, activated tumor cells stimulate osteoclastogenesis, enhance bone resorption, and subsequently release matrix-bound proteins that further promote tumor growth and bone resorption. In addition, alterations in the TGF-beta/BMP and Wnt signaling pathways via tumor cell growth can either stimulate or suppress osteoblastic bone formation and function, leading to sclerotic or lytic bone disease, respectively. Hence, the presence of tumor cells in bone dysregulates bone remodeling, dramatically impairing skeletal integrity. Furthermore, through complex mechanisms, cells of the immune system interact with tumor cells to further impact bone remodeling. Lastly, with alterations in bone cell activity, the environment is permissive to promoting tumor growth further, suggesting an interdependence between tumor cells and bone cells in metastatic bone disease and multiple myeloma.

Type Journal
Authors Kovacic, N.; Croucher, P.I.; McDonald, M.
Responsible Garvan Author (missing name)
Published Date 2014-01-01
Published Volume 94
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 125-39
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version