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Sydney 2005:
Mouse Model in Tumour Microenvironment and Bone Disease
By Joshua Epstein, MD

Dr. Epstein focused on the mouse model in tumor microenvironment. As a patient progresses from MGUS to symptomatic myeloma, the rate of their bone turnover changes. Epstein and associates looked at whether changes in the bone marrow were related to their disease (myeloma) and whether the changes were necessary for the survival of myeloma cells. Osteoclasts (cells that break down bone tissue) support myeloma cell survival and proliferation. Osteoblasts (cells that build bone tissue) have a more complex relationship with myeloma cells, supporting or killing the myeloma cells depending on conditions. Epstein and colleagues note a 20% to 30% decrease in tumor burden being associated with an increase in bone density. They continue to investigate the relationships between myeloma cells and bone tissue.

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