Study shows drug blocks breast cancer migration to bone

March 29, 2006

Therapy could help prevent metastasis

An international research team has identified what may be a critical molecule in the ability of tumours to metastasize — or spread — into bone. The research, initiated at the University of Toronto and continued at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) in Vienna, found that a protein in bone called RANKL appears to communicate with a receptor in breast, prostate and skin cancer cells — telling them to migrate. Moreover, a drug already known to block RANKL’s activity may prevent cancers from spreading into the bone.

Text and press release by Nicolle Wahl, University of Toronto

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