Prostate cancer (PCa) ranks as the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and the fifth leading cause of male cancer-related deaths globally Advanced PCa exhibits a propensity for bone metastasis which significantly contributes to morbidity. It is challenging to understand its mechanisms and develop effective treatments due to complicated tumor microenvironments. The current study addresses this gap by focusing on the construction of in vitro and in vivo models to mimic tissue-specific microenvironments resembling primary prostate tumor sites and metastatic bone tissue, shedding light on the complex processes of cancer cell dissemination, osteomimicry, and bone metastasis. To recapitulate the complex interplay between primary tumor sites and bone microenvironments, the study employs a combination of tunable extracellular matrix mechanics, bone-derived growth factors, and bone marrow-derived stromal cells. These engineered niches emulate the contexts of both primary tumor and bone tissue. LNCAP-C4-2B prostate cancer cells are introduced into these niches to analyze various aspects, including cell proliferation, osteoblastic differentiation, dissemination, and in vivo tumor formation. The study introduces a 3D organoid culture that mimics the pre-metastatic niche, providing a platform for studying PCa cell proliferation and dissemination. A negative relationship is observed between 3D matrix stiffness and cell proliferation, while a positive link is identified with cell dissemination. Bone matrix-derived soluble factors (BMSF) are identified as key modulators of LNCAP-C4-2B cell behavior, suppressing LNCAP-C4-2B proliferation but enhancing osteomimicry in vitro, Notably, bone marrow-derived stromal cells, primed with bone matrix-derived growth factors, amplify tumor cell proliferation and chemotaxis in vitro, contributing to increased tumor formation in vivo. In vivo experiments demonstrate BMSFs eliciting local inflammatory responses and inhibiting in vivo tumor formation. Moreover, osteogenic bone marrow stromal cells are shown to play a promotive role in LNCAP-C4-2B proliferation and migration, emphasizing the influence of the bone microenvironment on the prostate-to-bone progression of PCa cells. In conclusion, this study highlights the potential of the engineered tissue models for dissecting tumor progression and screening therapeutic interventions. By leveraging tissue-engineered soft and hard tissues, our approach offers a versatile toolbox for comprehensively investigating PCa progression and bone metastasis. These insights extend to potential therapeutic screening applications, providing a valuable resource for advancing our understanding of cancer pathogenesis and treatment strategies.

Citation Format: Bo Han, Zhi Yang, Shuqing Zhao, Gangning Liang, Ba Xuan Hoang, Josephine Fang. Engineering tissue models to elucidate prostate cancer bone metastasis dynamics [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2024; Part 1 (Regular Abstracts); 2024 Apr 5-10; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2024;84(6_Suppl):Abstract nr 1501.