Bone metastases – Current treatment strategy

Boér Katalin, Németh Zsuzsanna – Szent Margit Kórház, Onkológiai osztály, Budapest

Bone is the most common site of metastatic disease in many solid tumours, mainly in breast, prostate and lung cancer. Patients with bone metastases are at risk for skeletal-related events such as bone pain, pathological fractures requiring surgery and/or radiation to bone lesions, hypercalcemia, and spinal cord compression. Skeletal-related events are major source of morbidity for cancer patients and may be associated with negative impact on quality of life and survival. Bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclast function and are widely used in the treatment of malignant bone disease, as preventive therapy against skeletal-related events. Recently, the NF-κappa B-ligand (RANKL)-mediated osteoclast activity and this pathway in bone metabolism became a prime target for the treatment of bone metastases. The fi rst drug targeting the RANK-RANKL pathway is denosumab, a fully monoclonal human antibody which binds to RANKL and inhibits osteoclast activity. Nowadays optimal treatment of bone metastases requires multidisciplinary management of patients including the administration of bone-modifying agents such bisphosphonates or denosumab. The use of bone-targeted agents is a valuable additional treatment in the fi ght against bone metastases and multiple, randomised trials have demonstrated the effectivity of these drugs in reducing skeletal morbidity caused by advanced cancer.


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