Commentary (Fanale/Hortobagyi): Bisphosphonates in the Prevention and Treatment of Bone Metastases
September 01, 2003ByMichelle Fanale, MD|Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, FACP
Drs. Ramaswamy and Shapiropresent a timely and comprehensivereview of the potentialuses of bisphosphonates and theirindications in the prevention and treatmentof bone metastasis. The reviewprovides a concise summary of thepathophysiology of skeletal metastasesand describes emerging biologicprinciples that open the door for novel,highly targeted therapeutic interventions.It is generally accepted thatrelative osteoclast hyperactivity resultsin excess bone resorption, which isthe basic process behind bone metastasis,osteoporosis, and hypercalcemiaof malignancy. Osteoprotegerin,the receptor activator of nuclear factor–kappa B (RANK), and the kappa Bligand (RANK-L) have critical rolesin osteoclastogenesis. In addition,parathyroid hormone–related proteinalso plays a major role in osteoblastactivation and production of RANKLas well as terminal osteoclast differentiationand activation.