Article Abstract

Role of bone-modifying agents in advanced cancer

Authors: Danielle N. Desautels, Craig H. Harlos, Katarzyna J. Jerzak


Bone lesions from metastatic solid tumors and multiple myeloma (MM) represent an important source of morbidity in patients with incurable malignancies. Dysregulation of osteoclast and osteoblast activity caused by tumor cells in the bone microenvironment weakens the structural integrity of bone and predisposes to skeletal-related events (SREs), which can include severe bone pain, pathologic fracture, spinal cord compression and hypercalcemia. In order to reduce the risk of these complications, the supportive treatment of patients with bone lesions from advanced cancer typically includes the use of bone-modifying agents (BMAs), specifically bisphosphonates and denosumab. The choice of specific agent, dosing schedule and duration of therapy should be individualized by taking into account disease characteristics, medication side-effect profiles and patient preferences.

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