Yusuke Shiozawa Laboratory
Patients with bone metastases and
their families pay a tremendous price physically and emotionally. As a
physician dealing with patients suffering from bone metastases, I realized that
there was a need to learn more about how primary tumors progress to co-opt bone
marrow. Our laboratory plans to continue this quest, exploring the following
areas in the next few years:
Determine how the bone marrow microenvironment affects the bone metastatic
The bone marrow microenvironment influences how disseminated tumor
cells are regulated, but how it does so in active bone metastasis remains
Toward this goal
I. We will identify metabolic molecular mechanisms by
which the bone marrow microenvironment may control tumor dormancy and
recurrence through fatty acid metabolism.
II. We will identify molecular mechanisms behind the mysterious but crucial roles bone marrow mast cells play in bone metastasis. Mast cells have been known to participate in the tumor microenvironment, but full understanding of their function in active bone metastasis remains elusive.
I am confident that targeting
metastatic tumor cells alone is of limited therapeutic value; targeting the
microenvironment as well is critical for eliminating bone metastasis.
Determine how the crosstalk between metastatic cells and marrow nerve cells
controls bone cancer pain.
Cancer-related pain, both its
causes and its management, poses a tremendous challenge to patients and their
caregivers. Indeed, a full 80% of
patients with bone metastasis suffer from cancer-induced bone pain, however
little is know about the possible molecular mechanisms involved. In this
study, our group will focus on fundamental mechanisms behind the provocative
concept that crosstalk between metastatic cells and bone marrow nerves controls
cancer-induced bone pain. I believe that the insights derived from our
investigations will lead to new strategies to improve the quality of life of
Identify novel and effective treatments for bone metastasis, using hematopoietic stem
cells to deliver nanoparticles to the bone marrow.
To pursue this goal, we will
develop a unique drug delivery system to target bone metastasis using the
homing ability of hematopoietic stem cells. By developing a more effective and
safer therapeutic delivery system directly to bone marrow, this study will lay
the foundation for significant improvements in the care of cancer patients,
allowing local use of more potent anti-cancer drugs that might not be
well-tolerated systemically at high concentrations.
long-term commitment to and experience in establishing a direct link between
the bone marrow microenvironment and metastatic disease puts these goals in
reach, which can lead to breakthroughs in extended cancer treatments and
improved quality of life for patients.