When prostate cancer metastasizes to the bone, it can be particularly dangerous - not only with its action in the bones, but also with increased aggressiveness of the cancer. Now, research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2018 indicate why: The cells involved in these bone metastases, may emit signals that lead to the progression of the disease.
"In prostate cancer, the patient is often in pain due to bone growth. We show that some of the things that cause the new growth, can help cancer to grow and spread, "- said Philip Owens, Ph.D., an investigator from the University Koloradoskogo Cancer Center and the Denver Veterans Administration.
In particular, Owens considered growth factors, called bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP). As the name implies, BMP help the growth of healthy bones - and even used to grow new bone in procedures such as spinal fusion. However, mutations that disreguliruyut BMP - as the unfolding and termination of its activity - has been implicated in many types of cancer. For example, low BMP results in some colorectal cancers, while high BMP signaling is associated with cancer of the esophagus .
Owens studied BMP signaling in the form of special cells found in the bone and bone marrow, known as myeloid cells. These cells are multipotent, capable of differentiating into new types of cells that form bone and blood components, in particular cell types of the immune system. In the current study was knocked out gene BMPR1a, one of these BMP, especially myeloid cells. The murine model of prostate cancer, which was removed BMPR1a, formed fewer tumors than mice with active BMPR1a. In particular, it seemed that conditional deletion BMPR1a eliminates some of these stem abilities myeloid cells, limiting the types of cells they can produce (and, in turn, limits the ability of myeloid cells to cancer).
Owens called the current study "Genetic evidence" showing not only that the drug works, but shows how it works in cells that are not of the tumor itself.
"We believe that there is evidence that in many tissues of the BMP, which are controlled by cancer, in fact, comes from these myeloid cells. This new set of evidence demonstrating anti-cancer benefit from the inhibition of BMP signaling in myeloid cells, "- says Owens.
Ongoing work Owens in the Center CU Cancer, Medical CU School and Hospital Denver VA will continue to review the case on the inhibition of BMP in myeloid cells as a component of treatment for prostate cancer , which may lead to human trials of this strategy with DMH1 or other BMP for patients with metastatic disease .