The complex route to metastasis

The latest issue of Nature contains this very interesting article describing two different pieces of research on the topic of prostate cancer to bone metastases. Unfortunately you need to have the right IP address to access these papers free of charge.

Having done some research on prostate cancer to bone metastases (thanks to the Lynch lab) our group has now a better understanding of this disease and about the genetic and cellular drivers that characterize it. We have been working on the role of heterogeneity in cancer before but the source of it gets confounded in metastases: does it generate as one single metastatic cell reaches the bone and the clones acquire mutations? To this now we can add: do heterogeneous metastases in the bone come from a heterogeneous group of  tumor cells traveling together from the prostate? do these metastases start in a homogeneous clonal fashion and become heterogeneous as prostate cancer cells from other metastatic sites go to the bone? A combination of all these possibilities is (wait for it) also a possibility.

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