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Denosumab delays development of prostate cancer bone metastasis
Date:11/15/2011

An international clinical trial has found that treatment with a drug that suppresses the normal breakdown of bone can delay the development of bone metastases in men with prostate cancer. The study, receiving Online First publication in The Lancet, is the first to successfully reduce bone metastasis in such patients and supports the importance of targeting the bone microenvironment to prevent prostate tumor spread.

"Prostate cancer patients who develop bone metastases usually have poor outcomes, so preventing the development of metastasis has been a major unmet clinical need," says Matthew Smith, MD, PhD, of the MGH Cancer Center, lead and corresponding author of the Lancet paper. "This first demonstration of a treatment that can meet that goal is a significant accomplishment that should lead to better treatment strategies."

Bone is the most common site in some patients the only site for the development of prostate cancer metastases, which can lead to pain, fractures and the need for surgery or radiation therapy. Almost all men who die from prostate cancer have bone metastasis. Previous research has suggested that metastatic development involves interactions between tumor-secreted growth factors and the normal process by which bone tissue is broken down and rebuilt. Animal studies have indicated that inhibiting osteoclasts cells that cause the resorption of bone can prevent metastasis and that expression on cancer cells of a signalling protein called RANKL, which activates osteoclasts, may prepare the bone microenvironment for tumor spread.

Denosumab is a monoclonal antibody against RANKL and is FDA approved for two uses treatment of osteoporosis and prevention of fractures in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors. Denosumab is marketed by Amgen which supported the current study under the brand names Prolia for osteoporosis treatment and Xgeva for cancer treatment. The current study enrolled 1,
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Contact: Katie Marquedant
kmarquedant@partners.org
617-726-0337
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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