University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers will study cancer that has metastasized to bones and other organs using a $425,000 grant from the National Science Foundations.
occurs, patient prognosis dramatically declines due to severe skeletal-related
complications, including bone destruction,” associate professors Maureen Lynch and Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi said. “Mechanical signaling, which results from
physical activity imparting forces on the skeleton, is inherent to the bone
microenvironment and is critical for healthy bone remodeling. Though metastatic
cancer cells are exposed to these same signals when they arrive in the
skeleton, their role in metastasis in unclear.”
Current treatments for
cancer metastasized to bones are to slow the cancer’s progression, but Lynch and
Modarres-Sadeghi believe multiple factors likely spur on metastasis and
are working to see how mechanical signaling fits into the process.
“The results of this
project will transform our fundamental understanding of how tumor cells are
regulated in the skeletal microenvironment with considerable potential to
improve clinical management of the disease,” Lynch and Modarres-Sadeghi said. “The data collected from these studies will form the foundation for defining
the role of mechanical stimulation during bone metastasis.”
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