Why metastasis spreads to the bone?
When cancer cells break away from a primary tumor and migrate to other organs, this is called «metastatic cancer». The organs affected by these metastases, however, depend in part on their tissue of origin. In the case of breast cancer, they usually form in the bones. Although the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for the different stages of the metastatic process are not yet fully understood, studies show that cellular plasticity plays an important role. This term refers to the ability of cells to change function and/or form. From the primary site of a tumor, cancer cells can invade their microenvironment and then circulate via blood and lymphatic vessels to distant healthy tissue to form metastases. In the case of metastatic breast cancer, the cancer cells primarily colonize the bones, but can also be found in other organs such as the liver, lungs, or brain. Thus, tumor cells that become metastatic change their shape and become mobile. This study was conducted by biologists from the University of Geneva.