[Bone metastases : New aspects of pathogenesis and systemic therapy]

T D Rachner, F Jakob, L C Hofbauer
Der Internist 2016, 57 (7): 666-74
The occurrence of bone metastases, in particular secondary to breast and prostate cancer, represents a complex medical condition that is debilitating for affected patients. In order to provide an efficient and personalized therapy, an interdisciplinary treatment approach is mandatory; therefore, systemic pharmacological therapy represents a core element of the overall treatment concept. In terms of pathophysiology, the cancer cells cause a massive disturbance of the local bone microenvironment, which as a rule leads to activation of bone resorbing osteoclasts. In addition to bisphosphonates, which can be considered classical antiresorptive agents, the monoclonal receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL) antibody denosumab has been in use in clinical practice since 2011. The alpha-emitting radioisotope Alpharadin was also recently approved for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. This article provides a summary of the most recent knowledge on the pathogenesis of how cancer cells alter the bone microenvironment as well as a review of established and future systemic treatment options.

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