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Breast Cancer Res. 2012 Apr 25;14(2):307.

PTHrP and breast cancer: more than hypercalcemia and bone metastases.

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  • 1Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, TAC S131, Box 208020, New Haven, CT 06520-8020, USA.


Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) causes hypercalcemia in cancer patients. PTHrP is required for normal breast development and has been shown to promote bone metastases from breast cancers. However, whether the protein also contributes to the formation of primary tumors has been unclear. Two recent papers suggest it may. First, a report in Nature Genetics identified the PTHrP locus as a new breast cancer susceptibility gene. Second, a paper in Journal of Clinical Investigation demonstrated that PTHrP promotes tumor growth and metastases in MMTV-PyMT mice. These studies implicate PTHrP in the development and growth of primary breast tumors and underscore the need for further research.

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