Mechanisms, hypotheses and questions regarding prostate cancer micrometastases to bone

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1998;17(4):331-6. doi: 10.1023/a:1006106209527.


The morbidity and mortality associated with prostate cancer can almost universally be attributed to the consequences of metastases to the bone. While clinically there have been descriptive reports of these lesions and their detection by bone scan, there is an embrrassing paucity of reports as to the mechanisms of prostate cancer cell trafficking to the bone, adaptation to the bone environment, pertubation of the normal bone reformation process and the events leading to cachexia and death. In recent years, there have been numerous in vitro studies suggesting that PSA and hK2 may play a significant biological role in these events. Also, recent data generated form reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays reveal that metastasis to the bone may be an early event which further underscores the need to better understand this complex and critically important process. This commentary highlights several general concepts and a few specific issues related to CaP bone metastasis with the intent of revealing numerous opportunities for further investigation and inquiry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Neoplasms / secondary
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / physiology
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kallikreins / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis* / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / physiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tissue Kallikreins


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Kallikreins
  • Tissue Kallikreins
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen