Priority Research Papers:

A monoclonal antibody against the Wnt signaling inhibitor dickkopf-1 inhibits osteosarcoma metastasis in a preclinical model

Seth D. Goldstein _, Matteo Trucco, Wendy Bautista Guzman, Masanori Hayashi and David M. Loeb

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:21114-21123. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8522

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Seth D. Goldstein1, Matteo Trucco2, Wendy Bautista Guzman1, Masanori Hayashi1 and David M. Loeb1

1 Division of Pediatric Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

2 Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence to:

David M. Loeb, email:

Keywords: sarcoma, metastasis, Wnt signaling, DKK-1, mouse model

Received: February 24, 2016 Accepted: March 28, 2016 Published: March 31, 2016


The outcome of patients with metastatic osteosarcoma has not improved since the introduction of chemotherapy in the 1970s. Development of therapies targeting the metastatic cascade is a tremendous unmet medical need. The Wnt signaling pathway has been the focus of intense investigation in osteosarcoma because of its role in normal bone development. Although the role of Wnt signaling in the pathogenesis of osteosarcoma is controversial, there are several reports of dickkopf-1 (DKK-1), a Wnt signaling antagonist, possibly playing a pro-tumorigenic role. In this work we investigated the effect of anti-DKK-1 antibodies on the growth and metastasis of patient-derived osteosarcoma xenografts. We were able to detect human DKK-1 in the blood of tumor-bearing mice and found a correlation between DKK-1 level and tumor proliferation. Treatment with the anti-DKK-1 antibody, BHQ880, slowed the growth of orthotopically implanted patient-derived osteosarcoma xenografts and inhibited metastasis. This effect was correlated with increased nuclear beta-catenin staining and increased expression of the bone differentiation marker osteopontin. These findings suggest that Wnt signaling is anti-tumorigenic in osteosarcoma, and support the targeting of DKK-1 as an anti-metastatic strategy for patients with osteosarcoma.

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