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Role of Osteocytes in Cancer Progression in the Bone and the Associated Skeletal Disease

Manish Adhikari 1Jesús Delgado-Calle 2 3

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2021 Apr 5. doi: 10.1007/s11914-021-00679-7. .


Purpose of review: The goal of this manuscript is to review the current knowledge on the role of osteocytes in cancer in the bone, discuss the potential of osteocytes as a therapeutic target, and propose future research needed to understand the crosstalk between cancer cells and osteocytes in the tumor niche.

Recent findings: Numerous studies have established that cancer cells manipulate osteocytes to facilitate invasion and tumor progression in bone. Moreover, cancer cells dysregulate osteocyte function to disrupt physiological bone remodeling, leading to the development of bone disease. Targeting osteocytes and their derived factors has proven to effectively interfere with the progression of cancer in the bone and the associated bone disease. Osteocytes communicate with cancer cells and are also part of the vicious cycle of cancer in the bone. Additional studies investigating the role of osteocytes on metastases to the bone and the development of drug resistance are needed.