Bone metastases are usually associated with a variety of skeletal related events (SREs), a term covering both complications (pathological fractures, spinal cord compression) and the need for therapeutic intervention (radiotherapy, surgery to bone) for painful bone lesions and/or lesions carrying a high risk of fracture by which the patient's quality of life, functioning, and independence may be compromised. In view of the availability of improved therapeutic approaches for oncological diseases and the resulting improvements of median overall survival, the aim of preventing and delaying the occurrence of SREs becomes more important. To avoid, wherever possible, therapies requiring hospitalization, is another relevant goal. In recent years, bisphosphonates, along with available tumor-specific medication (chemotherapy, hormone therapy), constituted the standard of care for preventing skeletal complications in treating patients with bone metastases. Recently, a therapeutical alternative with potentially superior efficacy has been found in denosumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), thus preventing osteoclast-mediated bone resorption and specifically interfering with bone metabolism.
Keywords: Breast Cancer, Metastatic bone disease, Bisphosphonates, Denosumab, Osteonecrosis of the jaw