Bone metastases are a frequent complication of cancer, occurring in up to 70% of patients with advanced breast or prostate cancer. Skeletal-related events involving pathological fractures, spinal cord compression and a need for surgery/radiotherapy, which are frequently observed in cancer patients with bone metastases have a detrimental effect on patients' survival and quality of life. Therefore, prevention of skeletal-related events is a crucial element in cancer treatment.
The aim of this article was to summarize data on bone-modifying agents used for treatment of cancer patients with bone metastases. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and abstracts from ASCO, AUA, ESMO, AACR congresses for clinical studies evaluating bone-modulating agents in the treatment of patients with bone metastases.
In breast cancer patients with bone metastasis, several bisphosphonates and denosumab demonstrated clinical efficacy. On the other hand, in patients with bone metastases from prostate cancer or other solid tumors only zoledronic acid and denosumab were clinically active. However, neither bisphosphonates nor denosumab have any positive impact on survival of patients with bone metastases. In a recent interim analysis of a Phase III clinical study, a novel bone-modulating agent - radium-223 chloride (alpharadin), a bone-seeking alpha emitter, has been demonstrated to significantly improve median overall survival of prostate cancer patients with bone metastases compared with placebo.
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