Often cancer cells travel throughout the body. This can cause new tumors in a patient with advanced breast cancer. This happens in about 70-80% cases. It can spread not only to the bones but also the brain, lung and liver. The process is called metastasis and commonly results in formation of malignant bone tumors. The new study has discovered the exact mechanism that allows the traveling of the tumor cells that disrupt normal bone growth.
In cancer patients the relationship between signaling molecules and the molecules that communicate the signal is disrupted. This cell signaling leads the breast tumor cells to give wrong instructions to the bone cells. The signaling process involves a pathway with groups of molecules that work together. The researchers found that this pathway is disrupted in case of metastatic breast cancer.