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The Role of Hedgehog Signaling in Tumor Induced Bone Disease.

Cannonier SA, Sterling JA
Cancers (Basel). 2015 7 (3): 1658-83

PMID: 26343726 · PMCID: PMC4586789 · DOI:10.3390/cancers7030856

Despite significant progress in cancer treatments, tumor induced bone disease continues to cause significant morbidities. While tumors show distinct mutations and clinical characteristics, they behave similarly once they establish in bone. Tumors can metastasize to bone from distant sites (breast, prostate, lung), directly invade into bone (head and neck) or originate from the bone (melanoma, chondrosarcoma) where they cause pain, fractures, hypercalcemia, and ultimately, poor prognoses and outcomes. Tumors in bone secrete factors (interleukins and parathyroid hormone-related protein) that induce RANKL expression from osteoblasts, causing an increase in osteoclast mediated bone resorption. While the mechanisms involved varies slightly between tumor types, many tumors display an increase in Hedgehog signaling components that lead to increased tumor growth, therapy failure, and metastasis. The work of multiple laboratories has detailed Hh signaling in several tumor types and revealed that tumor establishment in bone can be controlled by both canonical and non-canonical Hh signaling in a cell type specific manner. This review will explore the role of Hh signaling in the modulation of tumor induced bone disease, and will shed insight into possible therapeutic interventions for blocking Hh signaling in these tumors.

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