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Bone Marrow Cells Promote Tumor Growth in Lung Cancer

by Hannah Joy on December 28, 2017 at 11:36 AM
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Bone Marrow Cells Promote Tumor Growth in Lung Cancer

A certain type of cell in the bone marrow known as osteocalcin-expressing (Ocn+) osteoblasts, aid in the progression of tumor in patients with early stage lung cancer, reveals a new study.

Bone marrow derived cells have been shown to contribute to tumor progression, though many of the specific mechanisms through which this occurs remain unknown.

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Here, Camilla Engblom et al. found that mice with lung tumors had a significantly higher bone mass than their healthy counterparts, a pattern that was also seen in lung cancer patients.

A closer look within the bone marrow of the tumor-bearing mice revealed a high number of osteocalcin-expressing (Ocn+) osteoblasts, cells that participate in bone formation. Intriguingly, deletion of Ocn+ cells suppressed tumor growth, indicating that these Ocn+ cells are functionally required for lung cancer progression.
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The authors next discovered that these Ocn+ cells stimulate production of a certain type of neutrophil that infiltrates the lung tumors.

These neutrophils exhibited increased expression of genes associated with tumor-promoting processes, including angiogenesis, suppression of T cell responses, and tumor cell proliferation and growth, the authors report.

They note that, in a small study of patients with lung cancer, the same neutrophil signature correlated with worse patient survival.

This research is highlighted in a Perspective by Haiying Zhang and David Lyden.



Source: Eurekalert
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