Impact of denosumab on bone mass in cancer patients

Ursa Brown-Glaberman, Alison T. Stopeck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cancer therapy-induced bone loss (CTIBL) is a form of secondary osteoporosis associated with systemic chemotherapy and hormonal ablation therapy. The monitoring and treatment of CTIBL is an important component of comprehensive cancer care, especially for patients with curable disease and long life expectancies. Whereas oral bisphosphonates remain the most commonly used therapeutic option for CTIBL, additional treatment options may be required for patients who do not respond adequately or are intolerant to bisphosphonates, have renal insufficiency, or are receiving treatment with nephrotoxic medications. For these patients, denosumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), offers an effective and well-tolerated alternative. Several recent randomized trials have examined the use of denosumab as treatment for CTIBL associated with hormone ablation therapy for breast and prostate cancer. Recent data suggest a possible role for RANKL inhibitors in both chemoprevention and the prevention of cancer recurrence through direct effects on breast tissue and breast cancer stem cells. The outcomes of several international Phase III clinical trials currently underway will help clarify the role of denosumab in patients undergoing cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications
StatePublished - 2013


  • Cancer therapy-induced bone loss
  • Chemotherapy
  • Denosumab
  • Hormone ablation therapy
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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