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Special Issue "Molecular and Translational Research on Bone Tumors"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrea Del Fattore
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bone Physiopathology Group, Multifactorial Disease and Complex Phenotype Research Area, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, 00146 Rome, Italy
Interests: bone cell biology; bone diseases; bone regeneration; mesenchymal stem cells; osteoclasts; osteoblasts; osteocytes; extracellular vesicles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Michela Rossi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bone Physiopathology Research Unit, Genetics and Rare Diseases Research Division, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS Viale San Paolo, 1500146 Rome, Italy
Interests: bone cell biology; bone diseases; osteoclasts; osteoblasts; osteocytes; bone metabolism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bone tumours can affect every part of the skeleton and can develop in any part of the bone, from the centre to the surface. Their growth can destroy healthy tissue and reduce bone strength, causing pathologic fractures. Primary bone tumours and metastases are characterized by the perturbation of physiological bone remodelling activity by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The crosstalk between cancer and bone cells allows the growth and the spread of the tumour.

Due to the unknown aetiology, complexity and heterogeneity of most bone tumours, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the oncogenesis is still necessary.

This Special Issue will focus both on benign and malignant bone tumours, in particular on:

The analysis of the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the onset of these tumours;

The identification of new therapeutic approaches;

The detection of biomarkers for early diagnosis.

Both original research and review articles are welcome.

Dr. Andrea Del Fattore
Dr. Michela Rossi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Primary bone tumours
  • Metastatic bone tumour
  • Therapy
  • Biomarkers
  • Epigenetic factors
  • Immune-oncology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Suppression of Estrogen Receptor Alpha Inhibits Cell Proliferation, Differentiation and Enhances the Chemosensitivity of P53-Positive U2OS Osteosarcoma Cell
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms222011238 - 18 Oct 2021
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Osteosarcoma is a highly malignant musculoskeletal tumor that is commonly noticed in adolescent children, young children, and elderly adults. Due to advances in surgery, chemotherapy and imaging technology, survival rates have improved to 70–80%, but chemical treatments do not enhance patient survival; in [...] Read more.
Osteosarcoma is a highly malignant musculoskeletal tumor that is commonly noticed in adolescent children, young children, and elderly adults. Due to advances in surgery, chemotherapy and imaging technology, survival rates have improved to 70–80%, but chemical treatments do not enhance patient survival; in addition, the survival rate after chemical treatments is still low. The most obvious clinical feature of osteosarcoma is new bone formation, which is called “sun burst”. Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is an essential feature of osteogenesis and regulates cell growth in various tumors, including osteosarcoma. In this study, we sought to investigate the role of ERα in osteosarcoma and to determine if ERα can be used as a target to facilitate the chemosensitivity of osteosarcoma to current treatments. The growth rate of each cell clone was assayed by MTT and trypan blue cell counting, and cell cycle analysis was conducted by flow cytometry. Osteogenic differentiation was induced by osteogenic induction medium and quantified by ARS staining. The effects of ERα on the chemoresponse of OS cells treated with doxorubicin were evaluated by colony formation assay. Mechanistic studies were conducted by examining the levels of proteins by Western blot. The role of ERα on OS prognosis was investigated by an immunohistochemical analysis of OS tissue array. The results showed an impaired growth rate and a decreased osteogenesis ability in the ERα-silenced P53(+) OS cell line U2OS, but not in P53(−) SAOS2 cells, compared with the parental cell line. Cotreatment with tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor inhibitor, increased the sensitivity to doxorubicin, which decreased the colony formation of P53(+) U2OS cells. Cell cycle arrest in the S phase was observed in P53(+) U2OS cells cotreated with low doses of doxorubicin and tamoxifen, while increased levels of apoptosis factors indicated cell death. Moreover, patients with ER−/P53(+) U2OS showed better chemoresponse rates (necrosis rate > 90%) and impaired tumor sizes, which were compatible with the findings of basic research. Taken together, ERα may be a potential target of the current treatments for osteosarcoma that can control tumor growth and improve chemosensitivity. In addition, the expression of ERα in osteosarcoma can be a prognostic factor to predict the response to chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Translational Research on Bone Tumors)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Tentative title: Expression analysis of NHEJ and HR genes in Ewing sarcomas: indications of DSB repair dysfunction

Author: Anastasios Kyriazoglou


Tentative title: Role of phytochemicals in the treatment of bone tumours

Author: Srijit Das


Tentative title: Exploration of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition EndoMT in osteosarcoma bone tumor microenvironment: Insights from patient samples and in vitro studies

Author: Isabelle Corre

Short Abstract: This study highlights for the first time the process of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition in osteosarcoma patient-derived tissue samples (diagnostic, surgery, metastasis). In a cellular in vitro model, the secretome from tumor or stromal cells both in naive and therapeutic conditions has been explored as putative inducer of EndoMT


Tentative title:  Profiling of extracellular vesicles from tissue explant cultures identifies new prognostic markers and molecular targets in canine osteosarcoma

Author: Alicia Viloria-Petit

Abstract/Summary: Osteosarcoma (OS) is a highly malignant bone tumour that has seen little improvement in treatment modalities in the past 30 years. Understanding what molecules contribute to OS biology could aid in the discovery of novel therapies. Extracellular vesicles serve as a method of cell-to-cell communication, but also have the potential to uncover novel protein signatures. In our research, we developed a novel pipeline to isolate, characterize and profile extracellular vesicles from normal bone and osteosarcoma tissue explants from canine OS patients. Proteomic analysis of vesicle preparations revealed a protein signature related to protein metabolism. One molecule of interest, PSMD14, was explored further given its prognostic potential in human and canine OS and its targetability by an available drug. In vitro experiments demonstrated that PSMD14 targeting induces apoptosis and signficantly inhibit colony formation in two metastatic canine OS cell lines. This unique pipeline can increase our understanding of OS and find new molecular targets for both human and canine OS patients.


Tentative title: Target proteomic approach to identify MMP9 and TGF-beta expressions from high-grade osteosarcoma

Author: Rashmi Akula

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