Bone is the most common target organ of metastasis of prostate and breast cancers. This produces considerable morbidity due to skeletal-related events, SREs, including bone pain, hypercalcemia, pathologic fracture, and compression of the spinal cord. The mechanism of bone metastasis is complex and involves cooperative reciprocal interaction among tumor cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and the mineralized bone matrix. The interaction between the metastatic tumor and bone stromal cells has been commonly referred to as the "vicious cycle". Tumor cells stimulate osteoblasts, which in turn stimulate osteoclasts through the secretion of cytokines such as the TNF family member receptor activator of nuclear κB ligand (RANKL). Activated osteoclasts degrade the bone matrix by producing strong acid and proteinases. Bone degradation by osteoclasts releases TGFβ and other growth factors stored in the bone matrix, that further stimulate tumor cells. Bone modifying agents, targeting osteoclast activity, such as bisphosphonate and RANKL antibodies are considered as the standard of care for reducing SREs of patients with bone metastatic diseases. These agents decrease osteoclast activity and delay worsening of skeletal pain and aggravation of bone metastatic diseases. While the management of SREs by these agents may improve patients' lives, this treatment does not address the specific issues of the patients with bone metastasis such as tumor dormancy, drug resistance, or improvement of survival. Here, we review the mechanisms of bone metastasis formation, tumor heterogeneity in the bone microenvironment, and conventional therapy for bone metastatic diseases and discuss the potential development of new therapies targeting tumor heterogeneity in the bone microenvironment.
Advanced drug delivery reviews. 2015 Dec 04 [Epub]
Mitsuru Futakuchi, Katsumi Fukamachi, Masumi Suzui