First DFG-Sponsored µBONE Conference

Focus on colonisation of a bone by tumour cells – The Lübeck Institute for Pathology is involved in two such research projects

The first µBONE (microbone) conference sponsored by DFG (German Society of Research) was held from 11–12 February 2019 in Dresden. About 70 scientists from Germany's top institutions involved in bone and cancer research were invited for discussions and to exchange ideas at this event with an interactive program of papers, posters and workshops. Lübeck and Borstel were represented by scientists from the Institute for Pathology. Sponsored by DFG, the keynote address was given by Prof. Lorenz Hofbauer, Head of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Diseases at the Carl Gustav Carus University Medical Centre of Dresden, whose speech was: “A better understanding of how tumour cells arise in bones is the basis of new cancer therapies.”Scientists from across Germany are working closely on the µBone programme, seeking to hinder, control, or undertake early treatment of bone metastases that follow prior breast or prostate cancer. Prof. Hofbauer showed examples of how one can mould modern research on cancer and bones through interdisciplinary, proactive collaboration and the use of advanced technologies. There are over 100 scientists, physicians, early career researchers and technicians working on 23 subprojects at 15 prestigious institutions. Spread around ten German cities, they concentrate on the joint task to develop individualised treatments for bone metastases.

Better Prevention and Treatment Research
Among the programme highlights was the keynote speech by Prof. Peter Croucher from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia. Prof. Croucher emphasised the importance of the immediate vicinity around the bones and bone marrow with tumour cells. A lively debate followed his presentation on the importance of inflammatory processes and blood supply for the colonisation and progression of myeloma. During various panel discussions, scientists and physicians of the consortium gave extensive presentations on their current findings and concepts for histopathology, breast and prostate cancer models, animal models, liquid biopsy and myeloma bone disease. Leaders in the field of bone metastases were also featured: the pathologist and scientist, Prof. Sven Perner, a renowned expert on histopathology diagnoses and the molecular origin and metastases of prostate carcinoma, and Prof. Klaus Pantel, a pioneer and leading scientist on circulating tumour cells. The Lübeck Institute for Pathology has two µBONE projects. Prof. Sven Perner explained, “There is inadequate research into the precise mechanisms and individual stages of bone and tumour cell development to enable clinical diagnosis of bone metastases. But this is the basic requisite for early diagnosis and better prevention and treatment.” The aim is to better understand how bone metastasis originates. Under the guidance of Prof. Perner, his group is looking at the special role played by the TRIM protein in colonising the bone and modulation of the bone’s micromilieu during metastasising of the prostate carcinoma. For more information, please visit:
DFG Sponsored µBONE Research Programme

µBONE Research Group (Picture: SPP 2084) Prof. Dr Sven Perner