Metastasis is a final stage of tumor progression. Breast and prostate cancer cells preferentially metastasize to bone, wherein they cause incurable osteolytic and osteoblastic lesions. The bone matrix is rich in factors, such as transforming growth factor-β and insulin-like growth factors, which are released into the tumor microenvironment by osteolysis. These factors stimulate the growth of tumor cells and alter their phenotype, thus promoting a vicious cycle of metastasis and bone pathology. Physical factors within the bone microenvironment, including low oxygen levels, acidic pH, and high extracellular calcium concentrations, may also enhance tumor growth. These elements of the microenvironment are potential targets for chemotherapeutic intervention to halt tumor growth and suppress bone metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research