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Chin J Cancer. 2011 Sep;30(9):612-9. doi: 10.5732/cjc.011.10225.

Implication of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha in prostate cancer skeletal metastasis.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.


Metastasis represents by far the most feared complication of prostate carcinoma and is the main cause of death for patients. The skeleton is frequently targeted by disseminated cancer cells and represents the sole site of spread in more than 80% of prostate cancer cases. Compatibility between select malignant phenotypes and the microenvironment of colonized tissues is broadly recognized as the culprit for the organ-tropism of cancer cells. Here, we review our recent studies showing that the expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) supports the survival and growth of prostate cancer cells in the skeleton and that the soluble fraction of bone marrow activates PDGFRα in a ligand-independent fashion. Finally, we offer pre-clinical evidence that this receptor is a viable target for therapy.

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