Joint priority program investigates the development of bone metastases
Over the next six years, scientists from all over Germany will work closely together to detect bone metastases at an early stage after a previous breast or prostate cancer and to prevent their development. A total of 7.8 million euros will be available over the next 3 years for the nationwide DFG Priority Program 2084 µBONE – Colonization and Interactions of Tumor Cells within the Bone Microenvironment, which is coordinated from the University Medical Center Dresden. Under the leadership of Dr. Hind Medyouf and Dr. Lisa Sevenich, the Georg-Speyer-Haus is involved.
Every eighth woman as well as every eighth man will develop either breast or prostate cancer during their lifetime. These two carcinomas are thus the most common types of cancer in both sexes. “Unfortunately, it is often clinical routine that we see patients with breast cancer and patients with prostate cancer whose tumor disease seemed to have been defeated several years ago, but in whom the disease returns in the form of bone metastases,” says Prof. Lorenz Hofbauer, geriatrician and bone specialist at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden and coordinator of the µBONE consortium. The consequences are bone fractures, severe pain and a reduction in quality of life. Especially breast carcinoma and prostate carcinoma tend to settle in the bones in up to 80 percent of cases of advanced disease. The cancer cells hibernate for years in the bone marrow of the human body and destroy the bone relatively quickly after awakening. The researchers want to better understand the processes that lead to this development of bone metastases.
“The exact mechanisms and the individual developmental steps of the bone and tumor cells on the way to a clinically recognizable bone metastasis are insufficiently researched, but they represent a basic prerequisite for early diagnosis and improved prevention and therapy,” says Dr. Hind Medyouf.
Priority Program 2084 of the German Research Foundation
The priority program aims to elucidate key mechanisms of bone colonization by tumors and the downstream communication between cells. This knowledge will be used to develop better strategies for the treatment of bone metastases. In addition to the Georg-Speyer-Haus, other renowned research institutions are involved in the program. In addition, the Frankfurt scientists are collaborating with colleagues from Dresden, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Erlangen, Lübeck, Würzburg, Berlin, Regensburg, and Münster.
Further information can be found on the website microbone.de.
Contact of the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus
Prof. Dr. Lorenz Hofbauer
Medical Clinic and Polyclinic III
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Metabolism Diseases