research: RANKL’s role in cancer metastasis

The new drug that I am taking, Xgeva® (denosumab), to help control skeletal related events (SRE) of bone metastases, acts by suppressing the activity of a protein called RANKL. My previous post dated October 21, 2010, briefly describes the way RANKL affects bone metastases.

Not limited to its role in bone metastases, RANKL appears to have a key role in the growth and spread of cancer tumors. Researchers at UC San Diego have published in Nature a study on the relationship of RANKL in cancer metastases: in sum, high levels of RANKL activity indicate tumor spread to distant sites. This study indicates that by suppressing RANKL activity, tumor growth may also be suppressed. Let’s keep an eye out for new studies to develop such drugs that may be the key to limiting—and might we hope—eliminating metastasis.

Key Culprit Identified In Breast Cancer Metastasis. In Medical News Today. 2-17-11

Wei Tan, Weizhou Zhang, Amy Strasner, Sergei Grivennikov, Jin Q. Cheng, Robert M. Hoffman and Michael Karin. Tumour-infiltrating regulatory T cells stimulate mammary cancer metastasis through RANKL–RANK signalling. In Nature doi:10.1038/nature09707, 2-16-11

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© 2004-2011 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

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One response to “research: RANKL’s role in cancer metastasis

  1. Awesome information – especially (for me) because I’ll be moving from Boniva to Xgeva next week. Nice to hear that it might do me some good – the Boniva helped with the pain, but since I picked up more than a dozen very aggressive bone mets in the few months I’ve been on it, I don’t think it’s been much use in the ‘preventing SRE’s’ department. Let’s hope putting a kink in the RANKL’s activity will do a better job with this monster…

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