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Cancer Res. 2007 Jun 15;67(12):5821-30.

Tumor alphavbeta3 integrin is a therapeutic target for breast cancer bone metastases.

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  • 1Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, UMR 664, IFR62, Lyon, France.


In breast cancer bone metastasis, tumor cells stimulate osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, and bone-derived growth factors released from resorbed bone stimulate tumor growth. The alphavbeta3 integrin is an adhesion receptor expressed by breast cancer cells and osteoclasts. It is implicated in tumor cell invasion and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Here, we hypothesized that the therapeutic targeting of tumor alphavbeta3 integrin would prevent bone metastasis formation. We first showed that, compared with mock-transfected cells, the i.v. inoculation of alphavbeta3-overexpressing MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in animals increased bone metastasis incidence and promoted both skeletal tumor burden and bone destruction. The direct inoculation of alphavbeta3-overexpressing transfectants into the tibial bone marrow cavity did not however enhance skeletal tumor burden and bone destruction, suggesting that alphavbeta3 controls earlier events during bone metastasis formation. We next examined whether a nonpeptide antagonist of alphavbeta3 (PSK1404) exhibits meaningful antitumor effects in experimental breast and ovarian cancer bone metastasis. A continuous PSK1404 treatment, which inhibited osteoclast-mediated bone resorption in an animal model of bone loss, substantially reduced bone destruction and decreased skeletal tumor burden. Importantly, a short-term PSK1404 treatment that did not inhibit osteoclast activity also decreased skeletal tumor burden and bone destruction. This dosing regimen caused a profound and specific inhibition of bone marrow colonization by green fluorescent protein, alphavbeta3-expressing tumor cells in vivo and blocked tumor cell invasion in vitro. Overall, our data show that tumor alphavbeta3 integrin stands as a therapeutic target for the prevention of skeletal metastases.

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