Hind Medyouf and Lisa Sevenich, Universität Frankfurt, Georg-Speyer-Haus
How come that a scientist with an expertise in the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in leukemia joins forces with a researcher focusing on tumor immunology in brain metastases to tackle questions about bone metastases? Maybe it is as simple as a fellow colleague put it: “One puts the two of you in a jar, shakes a bit and what comes out are bone metastases.” This might at first glance look like an oversimplified picture of our motivation to explore the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in regulating tumor dormancy in bone metastases. However, it also nicely illustrates the beauty and fascination of scientific research where the gathering of ideas and concepts from different disciplines allows us every day to look beyond our nose, to leave the comfort zone of our knowledge and set out to explore the unknown. The µbone research consortium initiative is a great example of such a “jar” in which we can pour our ideas and create new concepts that lead to cutting-edge research and expand our understanding of the biology of bone metastasis in a joint effort. By supporting diversity and creative thinking, this type of joint task force will hopefully get us a step closer to defining the bigger picture and creating novel concepts for more effective therapies to improve the quality of life and outcome for patients with bone metastases.