Research ArticleCancer

B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells mediate RANK-RANKL–dependent bone destruction

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Science Translational Medicine  16 Sep 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 561, eaba5942
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aba5942

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Out-RANKing bone damage in leukemia

B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children. Although this malignancy is often curable, it can cause multiple complications affecting the bone, sometimes even before the leukemia itself is diagnosed. To figure out what mediates the bone damage, Rajakumar et al. analyzed leukemia samples derived from human patients and performed mechanistic experiments in mouse models of both genetically engineered and transplanted cancer. They identified receptor activator of nuclear factor κB (RANK) signaling as a key culprit and showed that targeting this pathway in a patient-derived xenograft mouse model protected the bone from leukemia-induced destruction.

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