Improving progression-free and overall survival in patients with cancer: A potential role for bisphosphonates

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14 Scopus citations


Introduction: Bisphosphonates are a well-established therapy for patients with multiple myeloma or bone metastases from advanced cancers and are used routinely to delay the onset and reduce the risk of skeletal-related events. Emerging evidence indicates that they also may provide additional anticancer benefits. These developments warrant reappraisal of their role in patients with cancer and reevaluation of optimal therapeutic regimens. Areas covered: This article reviews the evidence of the anticancer activity of bisphosphonates in patients with solid tumors or multiple myeloma. The underlying mechanisms of the anticancer activity of bisphosphonates are elucidated from preclinical and translational data that show that bisphosphonates suppress tumor growth and survival, inhibit tumor-mediated angiogenesis, or stimulate host anticancer immune response. These data also provide insights into the potential for therapeutic combinations. Preclinical and clinical data relating to the anticancer effects of bisphosphonates are reviewed by cancer type. Expert opinion: Future trials of bisphosphonates in cancer patients will explore the underlying mechanism of the anticancer benefit in greater detail and attempt to examine critically the potential clinical benefit in individual cancer types in early/advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-762
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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