Several cancers are prone to metastasize to bone. Combating bone metastasis, especially the early dissemination of cancer cells in bone, requires basic research knowledge, skills in different technologies and longstanding clinical experience in order to make clinically significant progress. 
BONE-NET is a European consortium with complementary expertise in the fields of cancer and bone. It brings together 6 leading academic groups and 3 SMEs.
BONE-NET’s scientific project will aim at investigations the early molecular mechanisms of metastases associated with breast and prostate cancers and primary bone cancers (e.g., osteosarcomas), including the identification of new gens and their regulators (microRNAs) that draw cancer cells to colonize bone and let these cells adapt and thrive in the bone marrow. This network will then seek to identify and develop molecularly-targeted therapies.
BONE-NET’s primary objective will be to train 11 early-stage (ESR) and 3 experienced (ER) researchers in technical skills such as genomics, proteomics, advance microscopical methods, animal experimentation, noninvasive in vivo imaging methodologies and drug development. None of the participating laboratories use alla these approaches, but through workshops, courses and secondments ESR/ER will become expert in many of these disciplines.
The network additional objective will be to foster collaborations between participating laboratories, in which ESR/ER will take part through individual training-through-research projects. The training programme will also expose the ESR/ER to the industry which will offer courses and a set of complementary skills (ethics, intellectual property rights, entrepreneurship), thereby enabling to gain industrial work experience.
Overall, at the end of the project, ESR/ER will have acquired enough skills in order to manage their own research programmes and to envisage attractive career perspectives within Europe.

Kick off meeting
The BONE-NET kick-off meeting was organized by the coordinator, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in February 2011 (Lyon, France) and was attended by all the BONE-NET partners.
Recruitment being the core activity for the first year of the project, the dicussion was concentrated on how to optimise the application and selection processes.