The stem cell niche as a pharmaceutical target for prevention of skeletal metastases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Advanced cancers of the prostate and breast commonly progress by metastasizing to the skeleton, where they are incurable but cause serious morbidity and contribute to mortality. Growth of tumor in bone takes several years, opening a large window for pharmaceutical prevention of metastatic progression. Bone provides a unique microenvironment for tumor growth, including niches occupied by hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells. Recent data suggest that circulating tumor cells usurp these niches and compete with the normal stem cell occupants. Agents that encourage normal hematopoiesis or bone formation could inhibit colonization of bone by tumor stem cells and prevent or delay metastatic progression. It may be possible to develop high-throughput assays to test compounds for their ability to suppress tumor stem cell occupation of skeletal niches, thus decreasing metastatic progression in at-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalAnti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Anti-resorptive agents
  • Bone metastases
  • Bone-anabolic agents
  • Breast cancer
  • Endosteal niche
  • Hematopoietic niche
  • Mesenchymal cell niche
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stem cell niche

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The stem cell niche as a pharmaceutical target for prevention of skeletal metastases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this