Megakaryocytes in Bone Metastasis: Protection or Progression?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bone is the primary site where some cancers develop secondary growth, particularly those derived from breast and prostate tissue. The spread of metastasis to distant sites relies on complex mechanisms by which only cells endowed with certain characteristics are able to reach secondary growth sites. Platelets play a pivotal role in tumour growth, by conferring resistance to shear stress to the circulating tumour cells and protection against natural killer cell attack. Mature polyploid megakaryocytes (MKs) reside in close proximity to the vascular sinusoids of bone marrow, where their primary function is to produce platelets. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that MKs are essential for skeletal homeostasis, due to the expression and production of the bone-related proteins osteocalcin, osteonectin, bone morphogenetic protein, osteopontin, bone sialoprotein, and osteoprotegerin. Debate surrounds the role that MKs play in the development of bone metastasis, which is the topic of this mini-review.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE134
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 8 2019


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