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New therapeutic management of bone tumours

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(Vienna, 20 November 2018) Together with scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid, researchers from Maria Sibilia's laboratory at the Medical University of Vienna's Institute of Cancer Research, assisted by MedUni Vienna's Division of Nuclear Medicine and its Preclinical Imaging Facility, have shown that epidermal growth factor (EGFR) could play an important role in the treatment of bone tumours. Their research paper, which has now been published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, showed that EGFR, especially in bone-building osteoblasts, is essential for tumour development. 

In experiments with tumour cells and various genetic mouse models, the researchers found that EGFR regulates the transcription factor c-Fos in the nuclei of bone tumour cells via RSK2/CREB-dependent signal transmission. It was also found that bone-tumour patients with high EGFR protein levels coupled with high levels of the transcription factor c-Fos have a significantly lower probability of survival, points out study author Markus Linder: "In a mouse model with various human tumour cell lines, we were able to show that precisely this group of tumours responded to a treatment targeting EGFR, while treatment in tumours with no c-Fos had absolutely no effect upon tumour growth."

According to the study authors, the results therefore indicate that a specific treatment to target EGFR only works well in osteosarcoma patients when the tumours exhibit both c-Fos and EGFR. The authors therefore recommend that, in future, not only EGFR but also c-Fos status should be determined as a biomarker, to check whether the promising results also play a clinical role and so could be utilised in this context.

Service: EMBO Molecular Medicine
"EGFR is required for FOS‐dependent bone tumor development via RSK2/CREB signaling." Markus Linder, Elisabeth Glitzner, Sriram Srivatsa, Latifa Bakiri, Kazuhiko Matsuoka, Parastoo Shahrouzi, Monika Dumanic, Philipp Novoszel, Thomas Mohr, Oliver Langer, Thomas Wanek, Markus Mitterhauser, Erwin F Wagner, Maria Sibilia. DOI 10.15252/emmm.201809408 | Published online 25.10.2018. EMBO Molecular Medicine (2018) e9408