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Genes involved in breast cancer metastasis to bone

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Metastasis to bone occurs frequently in advanced breast cancer and is accompanied by debilitating skeletal complications. Current treatments are palliative and new therapies that specifically prevent the spread of breast cancer to bone are urgently required. While our understanding of interactions between breast cancer cells and bone cells has greatly improved, we still know little about the molecular determinants that regulate specific homing of breast cancer cells to the bone. In this review, we focus on genes that have been implicated in migration and adhesion of breast cancer cells to bone, as well as genes that promote tumor cell proliferation in the bone microenvironment. In addition, the review discusses new technologies, including better animal models, that will further assist with the identification of the molecular determinants of bone metastasis and will guide the development of new therapies.

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Received 25 January 2002; received after revision 27 March 2002; accepted 5 April 2002


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Sloan, E., Anderson, R. Genes involved in breast cancer metastasis to bone. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 59, 1491–1502 (2002).

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