Tackling secondary breast cancer – cancer to bone

May 8th, 2012

The most frequent site for secondary breast cancers to develop is in the bone, often with devastating consequences for patients. It is not clear why bone is such a fertile ‘soil’ for tumour cells to develop. Professor Andreas Evdokiou and his team at the University of Adelaide are studying secondary breast cancers in bone to find out why. They will use this knowledge to evaluate novel therapies.

Dr_Andreas_Evdokiou_300_300Patients with secondary breast cancer in bone can face a number of clinical complications, including chronic bone pain, spinal cord compression, hypocalcaemia, bone fractures and even paralysis due to the growth of tumours in bone and the related breakdown of bone mass.

Professor Evdokiou’s research investigates how novel therapies might affect the growth of secondary cancers in bone. He is also looking at certain therapeutics that are already being clinically trialled and administered systemically to patients.

These trials also aim to understand the effects of these drugs on normal cells, tissues and organs, and the consequences of their administration on normal bone metabolism.

“While our research focuses on the development progression and metastatic spread of breast cancer, our findings will have important implications for other solid tumours that frequently spread or initiate growth in bone, including prostate, lung, multiple myeloma and osteosarcoma. Our goal is to continue towards developing new and cutting-edge therapies to improve the quality of life and longevity of patients with bone related malignancies,” said Professor Evdokiou.