Researchers have discovered that silencing of certain pathways in breast cancer cells may allow the cells to escape the immune system and metastasize to the bone (Bidwell BN et al. Nat Med. doi: 10.1038/nm.2830 [published online July 22, 2012]).
By comparing primary and metastatic tumor cells in a mouse model of spontaneous bone metastasis, a team of investigators from Australia, Belgium, England, and the United States found that many genes that are suppressed in bone metastases are targets of the interferon regulatory factor Irf7, which promotes a robust immune response.
Hampton T. Pathways to Bone Metastasis. JAMA. 2012;308(9):853. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10870