IMR Press / FBS / Volume 2 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/S110

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Osteomimicry: how tumor cells try to deceive the bone
Show Less
1 Department of Experimental Medicine, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2010, 2(3), 907–915;
Published: 1 June 2010

Bone metastases are complications of multiple myeloma and solid tumors, including breast and prostate carcinomas. Several reports have demonstrated that the preference to metastasize to bone by tumor cells is not a casual but an addressed event, which relies on specific interactions among tumor cells, bone marrow microenvironment and bone cells. One of the features that gives tumor cells more chances to survive and proliferate into the bone tissue is osteomimicry, that is the ability to acquire a bone cell phenotype, especially osteoblast-like. As clearly demonstrated, prostate and breast cancer cells try to resemble osteoblasts by expressing bone matrix proteins, the specific marker alkaline phosphatase, and molecules regulating the osteoblast/osteoclast cross-talk. Based on this evidence it is crucial to dissect in more detail the molecular mechanisms underlying the osteomimetic properties of cancer cells and identify new therapeutic targets eventually leading to a better and prolonged life expectation for patients with bone metastases.

Back to top