The Bone Niche of Chondrosarcoma: A Sanctuary for Drug Resistance, Tumour Growth and also a Source of New Therapeutic Targets

Sarcoma. 2011;2011:932451. doi: 10.1155/2011/932451. Epub 2011 May 22.


Chondrosarcomas are malignant cartilage-forming tumours representing around 20% of malignant primary tumours of bone and affect mainly adults in the third to sixth decade of life. Unfortunately, the molecular pathways controlling the genesis and the growth of chondrosarcoma cells are still not fully defined. It is well admitted that the invasion of bone by tumour cells affects the balance between early bone resorption and formation and induces an "inflammatory-like" environment which establishes a dialogue between tumour cells and their environment. The bone tumour microenvironment is then described as a sanctuary that contributes to the drug resistance patterns and may control at least in part the tumour growth. The concept of "niche" defined as a specialized microenvironment that can promote the emergence of tumour stem cells and provide all the required factors for their development recently emerges in the literature. The present paper aims to summarize the main evidence sustaining the existence of a specific bone niche in the pathogenesis of chondrosarcomas.