Kathryn Wilson

Kathryn Wilson
About Kathryn Wilson

Metastatic prostate cancer is essentially incurable and the most common metastatic site for prostate cancer is the bone. Understanding the interactions between prostate cancer cells and the bone environment will lead to new treatments to prevent this painful and lethal disease state.

Dr. Kathryn Wilson is studying whether prostate cancer cells exhibit bone-like features or bone-generating capabilities that promote their ability to colonize bones. The expression of genes related to these features will be assessed in primary prostate tumor specimens and their association with patient clinical parameters including bone metastasis and disease outcome will be determined.

The hypothesis that patients with higher rates of bone regeneration are more susceptible to bone metastasis by providing a more conducive bone environment will be explored. The levels of molecules associated with bone regeneration in patient blood will be determined for their association with disease outcome.

Finally, whether obesity and cadmium exposure, both of which impact bone metabolism, might influence prostate cancer bone metastasis will be studied. Patient BMI and cadmium levels in toenails and prostate tissues will be determined and assessed for their association with the risk of bone metastasis and disease outcome.

If successful, this project will discover mechanisms of prostate cancer bone metastasis and lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets.

What this means for patients: Prostate cancer metastases most frequently occurs in bone and results in significant patient morbidity and potential mortality. Dr. Wilson will identify features of prostate cancer cells, the bone environment, and patient factors that contribute to the ability of prostate cancer cells to colonize the bone which will lead to the identification of new therapies to treat or prevent prostate cancer bone metastases.


2014 Heritage Medical Research Institute-PCF Young Investigator

Kathryn Wilson, ScD

Harvard School of Public Health


Lorelei Mucci, ScD, Matthew Smith, MD, PhD

Proposal Title

Bone Metabolism and Bone Metastases in Prostate Cancer