- How is breast cancer treated?
- Surgery for breast cancer
- Radiation therapy for breast cancer
- Chemotherapy for breast cancer
- Hormone therapy for breast cancer
- Targeted therapy for breast cancer
- Bisphosphonates for breast cancer
- Denosumab for breast cancer
- Clinical trials for breast cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for breast cancer
- Treatment of non-invasive (stage 0) breast cancer
- Treatment of invasive breast cancer, by stage
- Treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy
- More treatment information for breast cancer
Denosumab for breast cancer
A newer drug called denosumab (Xgeva®, Prolia®) is also now available to help reduce the risk of problems from breast cancer metastasis to the bone. It works differently from bisphosphonates.
In studies of patients with breast cancer that had spread to the bone, it seemed to help prevent problems like fractures (breaks) better than zoledronic acid (Zometa). It also can help bones even after bisphosphonates stop working. Studies are now looking to see if giving denosumab to patients with early breast cancer can help prevent the disease from spreading.
In patients with cancer spread to bones, this drug is injected under the skin every 4 weeks. Side effects include low blood levels of calcium and phosphate, as well as the jaw bone damage known as osteonecrosis of the jaw. This drug does not seem affect the kidneys, so it is safe to give to patients with kidney problems.
Denosumab can also be used to strengthen bones in breast cancer patients with weak bones who are being treated with aromatase inhibitors. When it is used for this purpose, it is given less often (usually every 6 months).
Last Medical Review: 08/23/2012
Last Revised: 02/26/2013