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Study Finds Myeloid-Like Tumor Hybrid Cells May Promote Progression of Prostate Cancer to Bone

By: Joshua D. Madera, MD
Posted: Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Given that bone metastases remain the primary cause of mortality in patients with prostate carcinoma, investigative efforts have focused on elucidating the characteristics of these disseminated cells in the hope of establishing novel treatment strategies, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Hematology & Oncology. Current findings suggest that myeloid-like tumor hybrid cells created from the spontaneous cell fusion in bone marrow may serve as therapeutic targets to prevent the progression of bone metastasis in patients with prostate cancer, according to Xinyu Ye, PhD, of South University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, and colleagues.

Transcriptomic analysis of disseminated tumor cells in prostate carcinoma metastases using single-cell RNA sequencing data was performed. In addition, a bone metastasis model was created by injecting tumor cells through the caudal artery. Subsequently, flow cytometry was performed to sort the tumor hybrid cells. These tumor hybrid cells were compared with parental cells via multiomics analysis. Assessment of the tumor growth rate, tumorigenic and metastatic potential, and drug and radiation sensitivity was assessed via in vivo experiments.

The study authors reported a distinct cluster of cells in prostate cancer bone metastases expressing myeloid cell markers, with significant alterations in pathways associated with immune regulation and tumor progression. These cells may originate from the interaction between bone marrow cells and disseminated tumor cells. Furthermore, multiomics analysis revealed significant modifications in processes involved with cellular proliferation and adhesion. Moreover, increased proliferative rates and metastatic potential were identified through in vivo experiments.

“The tumor hybrid cells usually obtain novel properties, while the common genotype from the parental cells is retained. The hybrid cells can cause increased proliferation and migration, immune escape, and drug resistance in tumor progression,” noted the study authors.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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