Molecular mechanisms of bone metastasis and associated muscle weakness

David L. Waning, Theresa A. Guise

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Bone is a preferred site for breast cancer metastasis and leads to pathologic bone loss due to increased osteoclast-induced bone resorption. The homing of tumor cells to the bone depends on the support of the bone microenvironment in which the tumor cells prime the premetastatic niche. The colonization and growth of tumor cells then depend on adaptations in the invading tumor cells to take advantage of normal physiologic responses by mimicking bone marrow cells. This concerted effort by tumor cells leads to uncoupled bone remodeling in which the balance of osteoclast-driven bone resorption and osteoblastdriven bone deposition is lost. Breast cancer bone metastases often lead to osteolytic lesions due to hyperactive bone resorption. Release of growth factors from bone matrix during resorption then feeds a "vicious cycle" of bone destruction leading to many skeletal-related events. In addition to activity in bone, some of the factors released during bone resorption are also known to be involved in skeletal muscle regeneration and contraction. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms that lead to osteolytic breast cancer bone metastases and the potential for cancer-induced bone-muscle cross-talk leading to skeletal muscle weakness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3071-3077
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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