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J Clin Invest. 2011 Feb;121(2):516-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI46088. Epub 2011 Jan 25.

Growing a tumor stroma: a role for granulin and the bone marrow.

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Endocrine Research Laboratory, Room H.5.21 Royal Victoria Hospital, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, 687 Pine Ave. West, Montreal, Quebec H3A1A1, Canada.


The tumor stroma is critical in cancer progression; understanding its formation is therefore important biologically and therapeutically. In this issue of the JCI, Elkabets et al. report on the generation of data in mice that lead them to propose that certain tumors can stimulate the growth of a second otherwise quiescent or indolent tumor in the same animal by stimulating stromal formation. Granulin-expressing Sca+Kit- hematopoietic progenitor cells in the bone marrow of the tumor host were required to mediate this effect. These data shed new light on the importance of the bone marrow in tumor growth and the role of granulin in carcinogenesis.

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