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Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Aug 15;16(16):4084-93. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0600. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Novel bone-targeted strategies in oncology.

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Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Most patients with bone metastases experience skeletal complications, resulting in significant morbidity and increased risk of death. Although the use of bisphosphonates is a well-established form of supportive care treatment for bone metastasis, complications arising from long-term use require schedule optimization and a search for alternative strategies. Moreover, the scope of use of bone-targeted agents in oncology has widened to include therapy-induced bone loss and antitumor effects. Indeed, bone provides a permissive niche to tumor growth, and targeting the interactions within the bone microenvironment is a promising antitumor strategy. In addition, the pathogenesis of cancer-related bone disease has been partially unraveled with a focus on the anabolic bone compartment, and the rapid bench-to-bedside translation has resulted in the identification of novel therapeutically amenable targets. This review focuses on studies optimizing bisphosphonate use and recent clinical data on denosumab in the treatment of bone disease. We also provide data on trials that have evaluated the antitumor effects of bisphosphonates and summarize the most recent discoveries on the role of the bone niche in cancer development, with insights into the preclinical rationale and clinical assessment of novel antiresorptive and anabolic bone-targeted agents.

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