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µBONE: Colonization and Interaction of Tumor Cells within the Bone Microenvironment (SPP 2084)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Research in recent years increased knowledge of underlying mechanisms and led to medical progress in developing cancer therapies. However, metastatic disease represents a major challenge. Patients with bone metastases frequently display pathologic fractures, pain, and a poor life quality. Bone metastases may also be a new source for systemic relapse. Mechanisms such as the initial colonization of bone by tumor cells and interactions with the bone microenvironment resulting in the development of bone metastasis are poorly understood.

To address these important questions, the Priority Programme aims to generate new insights into the interactions of tumor cells within the bone microenvironment to identify novel therapeutic concepts for the treatment and/or prevention of bone metastases. The focus is on bone metastasis secondary to breast and prostate cancer as well as myeloma bone disease. Applications should combine bone and tumor biology expertise, clinical experience, modelling strategies and functional/high-resolution imaging in a synergistic fashion.

The formation of interdisciplinary teams that span this expertise and interact with other groups in this Priority Programme should create a synergetic platform for successful basic and translational research. Inclusion of clinician-scientists and early-career researchers is strongly encouraged.

Proposals submitted to this call should address at least one of the following fundamental aspects:
- to explore novel mechanisms of breast and prostate cancer cell colonization into the bone
- to define interactions of circulating and disseminated tumor cells with the bone microenvironment
- to develop and validate novel tools for bone metastases research, including animal models, imaging technologies, and advanced in vitro techniques, including human organoid cultures
- to explore markers for early diagnosis and specific targeting of bone metastases towards precision medicine

Not eligible for funding are proposals on primary bone tumors (e.g. osteosarcoma), leukemias as well as studies on primary tumor biology without bone interaction or on metabolic bone diseases without a tumor context.

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:
Professor Dr. Lorenz Hofbauer
Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden
Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik III
Bereich Endokrinologie
Diabetes und Knochenstoffwechselerkrankungen
Fetscherstr. 74, 01307 Dresden
phone +49 351 458-3171, sylvia.thiele@ukdd.de

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:
Programme contact:
Dr. Stefan Thiel, phone +49 228 885-2977, stefan.thiel@dfg.de
Dr. Laura Planko, phone +49 228 885-2354, laura.planko@dfg.de

Administrative contact:
Susanne Kress, phone +49 228 885-2826, susanne.kress@dfg.de

Further information: