Dr Dondossola on the Importance of Studying Bone Metastasis in RCC

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Eleonora Dondossola, PhD, discusses the importance of studying bone metastasis in RCC and other genitourinary cancers.

Eleonora Dondossola, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology - Research, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the importance of studying bone metastasis in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and other genitourinary cancers.

Dondossola and her colleagues in the Bone Metastasis Lab are dedicated to studying the lethal consequences of bone metastasis in patients with prostate and renal cancer. The lab initially focused on prostate cancer, she explains, adding that they later expanded its scope to include renal cancer due to the translatability of their models to various metastatic cancers affecting the bone.

Bone metastases in RCC can not only cause physical pain but can also significantly impact patients’ quality of life (QOL) and generate substantial economic burdens, Dondossola explains. Despite this, there is the lack of suitable model systems that utilize a bone-centric approach for testing therapeutic options, she states. To address this challenge, the lab emphasizes the importance of developing suitable model systems that focus on the bone microenvironment.

The lab’s research program leverages advanced techniques such as tissue-engineered in vivo models, intravital multiphoton microscopy, 3D organotypic in vitro systems, and computational oncology. By utilizing these cutting-edge methodologies, the lab aims to gain insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tumor progression in bone and treatment responses. Specifically, the lab investigates the interaction between cancer cells and stromal cells within the bone microenvironment, with a focus on understanding how metastatic tumors colonize bone, progress, and respond to various therapies, Dondossola says.

Ultimately, the goal of Dondossola’s Bone Metastasis Lab is to translate their preclinical findings into clinically relevant interventions that enhance patient survival and QOL, Dondolossa emphasizes. By elucidating these mechanisms, the Dondossola Lab hopes to identify novel therapeutic targets and strategies that may improve patient outcomes and reduce overall morbidity.

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