JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

New treatment modalities in osteoporosis

Ernesto Canalis
Endocrine Practice 2010, 16 (5): 855-63
20350910

OBJECTIVE: To describe recently discovered agents for the management of osteoporosis.

METHODS: A literature review (PubMed search) was conducted to identify agents at various stages of development for osteoporosis treatment. Agents under study or review for approval were included.

RESULTS: In menopause, bone remodeling is increased, and agents that suppress bone resorption can stabilize bone mass. In contrast, agents that target the osteoblast can increase bone formation and bone mass. Novel antiresorptive agents can target the formation or the activity of osteoclasts. They include denosumab, an antibody to receptor activated nuclear factor κB; new selective estrogen receptor modulators, such as bazedoxifene; and cathepsin K inhibitors, such as odanacatib. Src kinase inhibitors are in the early phases of development. Parathyroid hormone is the only approved anabolic agent for the treatment of osteoporosis. Novel anabolic therapies for osteoporosis may include the use of factors with anabolic properties for bone or the neutralization of growth factor antagonists. Recent discoveries have demonstrated that the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway has a central role in osteoblastic cell differentiation. Antibodies to Wnt antagonists, such as sclerostin, are under development as new therapeutic approaches for osteoporosis. Anabolic therapies have the potential to enhance bone mass, but their long-term safety must be proven.

CONCLUSIONS: New developments in the treatment of osteoporosis include novel antiresorptive and anabolic agents. Their success will depend on their long-term effectiveness and safety profile.

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