Molecular Mechanisms of Bone Metastasis

Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2016 Jan-Feb;13(1):1-12.


Metastasis of breast and prostate cancer as well as multiple myeloma to the bones represents a significant medical problem. We herein discuss the molecular basis of the creation of pre-metastatic niches, the process of bone metastasis and the phenomenon of tumor dormancy in the bone marrow as well as its regulation. We describe the identification and validation of genes mediating bone metastasis by use of pre-clinical models of bone metastasis. Additionally, we discuss the role of small integrin binding N-linked glycoproteins (SIBLINGS), the chemokine/chemokine receptor CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway and the role of micro RNAs (miRNAs) as mediators of bone metastasis. Finally, we summarize clinical achievements for the treatment of bone metastases.

Keywords: Bisphosphonates; bone tropism of metastasis; denosumab; genes mediating and modulating bone metastasis; pre- and metastatic niche(s); review; vicious cycle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics
  • Bone Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Myeloma / genetics
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology