Steps in prostate cancer progression that lead to bone metastasis

Int J Cancer. 2011 Jun 1;128(11):2545-61. doi: 10.1002/ijc.26024. Epub 2011 Mar 28.


Prostate cancer is a complex disease in which metastasis to the bone is the main cause of death. Initial stages of metastasis are generally similar to those for most solid tumors; however, the mechanisms that underlie the homing of prostate tumor cells to the bone are not completely understood. Prostate cancer bone metastasis is also a microenvironment-driven disease, involving bidirectional interactions between the tumor and the bone microenvironment. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the biologic processes and regulatory factors involved in the metastasis of prostate cancer cells, and their specific properties that promote growth in bone. Although many of these processes still need to be fully elucidated, a better understanding of the complex tumor/microenvironment interplay is slowly leading to more effective therapies for patients with prostate cancer bone metastases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment