The endocrine influence on the bone microenvironment in early breast cancer

  1. Ingunn Holen2
  1. 1Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, Weston Park Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence should be addressed to C Wilson; Email: c.wilson{at}
  1. Figure 1

    Tumour cell interactions with the bone microenvironment and the effect of endocrine hormones. Tumour cells home to vascular areas within bone interact with bone cells and can enter a state of dormancy/quiescence for many years before growth. They are in close contact with bone and are thought to occupy the HSC niches. Following unknown triggers, the tumour cells regain the ability to proliferate and ultimately form bone metastases or spread to other metastatic sites. The table provides a brief overview of the influence of endocrine hormones on bone cells involved in the metastatic niche.

  2. Figure 2

    Breast tumour cells visualized in close proximity to osteoblasts and blood vessels in mouse bone. Genetically engineered mice with GFP-expressing osteoblasts injected via the intracardiac route with CMDii-labelled human MDA-MB-231 cells before sample collection and processing for paraffin sections. Histological sections of tibias were stained with markers for endothelial cells using antibodies and DNA was visualized using DAPI. Tumour cells, osteoblasts and blood vessels were seen in close proximity to each other within the bone marrow compartment.

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