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JCI table of contents: Jan. 25, 2011
Date:1/25/2011

n as the tumor stroma, that surrounds the cancer cells. More complete understanding of how the tumor stroma forms might provide new targets for anticancer therapeutics. In this context, a team of researchers, led by Sandra McAllister, at Harvard Medical School, Boston, has now identified in mice a mechanism by which certain types of tumor at one site can stimulate the growth of indolent tumors at distant sites, providing potential new therapeutic targets.

Preclinical data have indicated that certain tumors, which have been termed instigators, stimulate cells in the bone marrow to enter the circulation and subsequently promote the growth of otherwise indolent cancer cells (responders) at distant sites. In this study, McAllister and colleagues have characterized the bone marrow cells involved in this process and found that they secrete the protein granulin, which promotes the formation of a tumor stroma around the responding cancer cells. The clinical relevance of these data are highlighted by the observation that high levels of granulin expression in human breast cancer correlated with an aggressive form of breast cancer and reduced patient survival. The authors therefore suggest that granulin and the cells that produce it might provide new targets for anticancer therapeutics, a point with which Andrew Bateman, at McGill University, Montreal, concurs in an accompanying commentary.

TITLE: Human tumors instigate granulin-expressing hematopoietic cells that promote malignancy by activating stromal fibroblasts in mice

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Sandra S. McAllister
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Phone: 617.355.9059; Fax: 617.355.9093; E-mail: smcallister1@partners.org.

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/43757?key=35d0bca89ec3ee754eae


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Contact: Ushma Neill
press_releases@the-jci.org
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Journal of Clinical Investigation
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