School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine


R. Daniel Bonfil, Ph.D.
Professor of Urology, Pathology, and Oncology

Department of Pathology
540 E. Canfield Ave.

Scott Hall # 9105
Detroit, MI 48201

(313) 577-2879
Fax: (313) 577-0057

Prostate and Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis, CTCs, DTCs, Receptor Tyrosine Kinases, Matrix Metalloproteinases, Tumor Models

Administrative Contact
Jennifer Goewey
Phone: (313) 577-4871
Research Interests

The Bonfil Laboratory investigates molecular mechanisms that contribute to bone metastasis. Dr. Bonfil and colleagues have demonstrated the contribution of tumor-associated membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) to intraosseous tumor growth and bone remodeling, and to proteolytic shedding of membrane-anchored receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) expressed by prostate cancer cells. During the last years, Dr. Bonfil has focused on the role of different receptor tyrosine kinases in prostate and breast cancer bone metastasis, both in individual and collaborative projects. His laboratory is actively involved in molecular profiling of circulating tumor cells and micrometastasis, and the study of mechanisms underlying exit of bone-resident cancer cells from dormancy, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel predictive and prognostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets in metastatic prostate and breast cancer.

Current Lab Personnel

Leandro E. Mainetti, Ph.D.

Wongjin Cho, Ph.D.

Daniel Miragaia, M.D.

Allen Saliganan, M.D.



M.Sc. (1981), Ph.D. (1986): University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Postdoctoral Fellowship (1996-1988): Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA, in the field of Cancer Biology


1. Dong Z, Bonfil RD, Chinni S, Deng X, Trindade JC, Bernardo M, Vaishampayan U, Che M, Sloane B, Sheng S, Fridman R, Cher ML, 2005, Matrix metalloprotease activity in experimental prostate cancer bone metastasis tissue. Am J Pathol, 166: 1173-86.

2. Bonfil RD, Sabbota A, Nabha S, Dong Z, Meng H, Yamamoto H, Chinni S, Bernardo MM, Lim IT, Chang M, Filetti LC, Mobashery S, Cher ML, and Fridman R, 2006, Inhibition of human prostate cancer growth, osteolysis and angiogenesis in a bone metastasis model by a novel mechanism-based selective gelatinase inhibitor. Int J Cancer, 118: 2721-6 (Selected for Cover Feature).

3. Bonfil RD, Dong Z, Trindade Filho JC, Sabbota A, Osenkowski P, Nabha S, Yamamoto H, Chinni SR, Zhao H, Mobashery S, Vessella RL, Fridman R, and Cher ML, 2007, Prostate cancer-associated membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase: its pivotal role in bone response and intraosseous tumor growth. Am J Pathol, 170: 2100-11.

4. Nabha SM, Burck dos Santos E, Yamamoto HA, Belizi A, Dong Z, Meng H, Saliganan A, Bonfil RD*, Cher ML*, 2008, Bone marrow stromal cells enhance prostate cancer cell invasion through type I collagen in an MMP-12 dependent manner. Int J Cancer, 122: 2482-90. *co-corresponding authors

5. Wiesner C, Nabha SM, Dos Santos EB, Yamamoto H, Meng H, Melchior S W, Bittinger F, Thüroff JW, Vessella RL, Cher ML, and Bonfil RD, 2008, C-Kit and its ligand stem cell factor: potential contribution to prostate cancer bone metastasis. Neoplasia, 10: 996-1003.

6. Bonfil, RD, Fridman, R, Mobashery, S, Cher, ML, 2008, Are Matrix Metalloproteinases Relevant Therapeutic Targets for Prostate Cancer Bone Metastasis? Current Oncol, 15: 23-27.

7. Sabbota, AL, Kim, H-RC, Zhe, X, Fridman, R, Bonfil, RD*, Cher, ML*, 2010, Shedding of RANKL by Tumor-Associated MT1-MMP Activates Src-dependent Prostate Cancer Cell Migration. Cancer Res, 70: 5558-5566. *co-corresponding authors

8. Zhe, X, Cher, ML, Bonfil, RD, 2011, Circulating tumor cells: finding the needle in the haystack. Am J Cancer Res 1: 740-751.

9. Mahalingam, CD, Datta, T, Patil, RV, Kreider, J, Bonfil, RD, Kirkwood, K, Goldstein, SA, Abou-Samra, AB, Datta, NS, 2011, Mitogen activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 regulates bone mass, osteoblast gene expression, and responsiveness to parathyroid hormone. J Endocrinol, 211: 145-156.

10. Bernardo MM, Meng Y, Lockett J, Dyson G, Dombkowski A, Kaplun A, Li X, Yin S, Dzinic S, Olive M, Dean I, Krass D, Moin K, Bonfil RD, Cher M, Sakr W, Sheng S, 2011, Maspin reprograms the gene expression profile of prostate carcinoma cells for differentiation. Genes Cancer, 2: 1009-22.

11. Conley-LaComb, MK, Huang, W, Wang, S, Fridman, R, Bonfil, RD, Cher, ML, Chen, YQ, Kim, H-R C (2012). PTEN regulates PDGF ligand switch for ?-PDGFR signaling in prostate cancer. Am. J. Pathol, 180: 1017-27.

12. Najy, AJ, Jung, YS, Won, JJ, Conley-LaComb, MK, Saliganan, A, Kim, CJ, Heath, E, Cher, ML, Bonfil, RD, Kim, H-RC (2012). Cediranib inhibits both the intraosseous growth of PDGF D positive prostate cancer cells and the associated bone reaction. Prostate, 72: 1328-38.

13. Fridman R, Benton G, Aranoutova I, Kleinman HK, Bonfil RD (2012). Increased initiation and growth of tumor cell lines, cancer stem cells and biopsy material in mice using basement membrane matrix protein (Cultrex or Matrigel) co-injection. Nat Protoc, 7: 1138-44.

14. Dzinic SH, Chen K, Thakur A, Kaplun A, Bonfil RD, Li X, Liu J, Bernardo MM, Saliganan A, Back JB, Yano H, Schalk DL, Tomaszewski EN, Beydoun AS, Dyson G, Mujagic A, Krass D, Dean I, Mi QS, Heath E, Sakr W, Lum LG, Sheng S (2014). Maspin expression in prostate tumor elicits host anti-tumor immunity. Oncotarget, 5: 11225-36.

15. Mainetti LE, Zhe X, Diedrich J, Saliganan AD, Cho WJ, Cher ML, Heath E, Fridman R, Kim HR, Bonfil RD (2015). Bone-induced c-kit expression in prostate cancer: a driver of intraosseous tumor growth. Int J Cancer, 136: 11-20.

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