Metastatic breast cancer cells might use
bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to help them spread to
bone tissue. A study using a 3D scaffold model has shown how this happens.
The findings suggest that breast
tumor-derived factors can promote the maturation of MSCs into bone
cells, and that mechanical compression of the scaffold further
stimulates bone development. The article is published in Tissue Engineering
‘Breast tumor-derived factors can promote the maturation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into bone cells, and that mechanical compression of the scaffold further stimulates bone development.’
Maureen Lynch, Claudia Fischbach, and coauthors from Cornell
University (Ithaca, NY) and University of Massachusetts Amherst used a
mineral-containing 3D scaffold as an in vitro model to study whether
factors such as breast tumor-derived compounds and mechanical
stimulation within the bone microenvironment affect the interactions
between metastatic cancer cells and bone.
Understanding and intervening
in these interactions could have clinical implications for the nearly
75% of patients with advanced breast cancer in whom incurable skeletal
metastatic disease develops.
The article entitled "Three-Dimensional
Mechanical Loading Modulates the Osteogenic Response of Mesenchymal
Stem Cells to Tumor-Derived Soluble Signals" describes the
composition of the scaffold, the study design, and how this model can be
used to evaluate the role of certain physical cues on bone metastatic
"The article reports a very exciting study leveraging a
tissue-engineered tumor model for controlled interrogation of tumor-bone
interactions with enormous implications for the development of new
therapeutics" says Co-Editor-in-Chief Antonios G. Mikos, Louis
Calder Professor at Rice University, Houston, TX.