Department of Cellular and Structural Biology

CSB Joint Appointed Faculty


Susan S. Padalecki, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2000


Departments of Urology and
Cellular & Structural Biology, UTHSCSA
MED 218F
(210) 567-1469


Dr. Padalecki is jointly appointed in the Departments of Cellular and Structural Biology and Urology. She is a lecturer and laboratory instructor in the Gross Anatomy Course for first-year dental students. This course focuses on head and neck anatomy, embryology and neuroanatomy. Her laboratory is focused on the study of bone metastases as a result of genito-urinary malignancies such as prostate and bladder cancer.


Research Interests:
Bone is the most common site of metastases for solid tumors such as breast, prostate and bladder cancers. These metastases contribute significantly to the morbidity and mortality of these cancers. Significant progress has been made in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying osteolytic bone metastases particularly from breast cancer. However, in advanced prostate cancer and to some degree bladder cancer, patients tend to present with osteoblastic lesions or mixed osteolytic-osteoblastic bone metastases. Much less is known about the mechanisms leading to these types of bone metastases. Our initial studies have lead to the development of reliable animal models of prostate cancer metastases to bone and bladder cancer metastases to bone. We have also shown that androgen deprivation, a common treatment for advanced prostate cancer, can increase the incidence of bone metastases. Our focus now is to utilize these models of bone metastasis to dissect the pathophysiology of prostate cancer and bladder cancer metastases to bone as well as for use in pre-clinical testing of therapeutics. Identification of specific molecular targets for the development of therapeutics is a key goal in this work.


Recent evidence indicates that risk of prostate cancer development and the progression of prostate cancer in diabetics may be different in early stages versus late stages of diabetes. In addition, obesity also has profound effects on prostate cancer growth and progression. In collaboration with other groups here at UTHSCSA, we are working to decipher the role of both diabetes and obesity in prostate cancer progression.


Volume-rendered microCT images of mice bearing osteolytic bone metastases following intra-cardiac inoculation of human tumor cells.


Research Techniques:
Mammalian tissue culture
Bone Cell culture
Bone Histomorphometry
Radiographic analysis of skeletal lesions in Mice
Analysis of Bone Mineral Density in Mice
Nuclear Imaging in Mice
Molecular Genetics


Hall DC, Johnson-Pais TL, Grubbs B, Bernal R, Leach RJ, Padalecki SS. (2008) Maspin reduces prostate cancer metastasis to bone. Urol Oncol. 2008 Nov-Dec;26(6):652-8. Epub 2008 Jan 15.


Sterling JA, Oyajobi BO, Grubbs B, Padalecki SS, Munoz SA, Gupta A, Story B, Zhao M, Mundy GR. (2006) The hedgehog signaling molecule Gli2 induces parathyroid hormone-related peptide expression and osteolysis in metastatic human breast cancer cells.Cancer Res. Aug 1;66(15):7548-53.


Guise TA, Kozlow WM, Heras-Herzig A, Padalecki SS, Yin JJ, Chirgwin JM. (2005) Molecular mechanisms of breast cancer metastases to bone.Clin Breast Cancer. Feb;5 Suppl(2):S46-53.


Padalecki SS, Weldon KS, Reveles XT, Buller CL, Grubbs B, Cui Y, Yin JJ, Hall DC, Hummer BT, Weissman BE, Dallas M, Guise TA, Leach RJ, Johnson-Pais TL. (2003) Chromosome 18 suppresses prostate cancer metastases.Urol Oncol. Sep-Oct;21(5):366-73.


Padalecki SS, Guise TA. (2002) Actions of bisphosphonates in animal models of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2002;4(1):35-41. Epub 2001 Dec 20.


Padalecki SS, Johnson-Pais TL, Killary AM, Leach RJ. (2001) Chromosome 18 suppresses the tumorigenicity of prostate cancer cells.Genes Chromosomes Cancer. Mar;30(3):221-9.