Mechanical Loading Decreases Osteolysis and Tumor Formation via Effects on Bone Remodeling

Maureen Lynch, Cornell University

Friday, March 7, 2014, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

Approximately 1 in 4 patients with advanced breast cancer develop incurable skeletal metastasis, which is the leading cause of breast cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. Breast cancer metastasis is overwhelmingly osteolytic, causing increased bone fragility and risk for fracture. Homeostatic remodeling of the skeleton balances resorption and formation to meet structural and metabolic needs via a feedback loop that is regulated by the prevailing mechanical environment. Metastatic cancer cells appropriate remodeling by causing net resorption, which releases pro-tumorigenic factors stored within the skeletal matrix. In contrast, increased mechanical stimulation results in net bone formation. In the skeleton, cancer cells are exposed to the mechanical environment in the skeleton, yet the role of biomechanical loading as a regulator of tumor progression and osteolysis remains poorly characterized. This talk will discuss novel models for investigating the effects of mechanical loading on breast cancer bone metastasis as well as preliminary work indicating that mechanical loading plays an inhibitory role in this context.

About the Speaker

Maureen Lynch is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Biomedical Engineering with Professor Claudia Fischbach. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from Cornell in in Mechanical Engineering with Professor Marjolein van der Meulen.