Introduction: The impact on the survival of bone metastases (BM) in patients with neuroendocrine tumor (NET) is a matter of debate. BM have a key role in causing symptoms and in decreasing patients' quality of life. Although the mechanisms of the development of BM are not completely clear, it is now well understood that the Receptor Activator of Nuclear factor Kappa-B-/Ligand (RANK/RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) pathway plays a relevant role. Aim: To characterize the RANK/RANKL/OPG pathway in patients affected with NET. Patients and methods: Two cohorts of 15 patients each were enrolled in the study; one cohort was affected with NET without BM and the second cohort was affected with NET with BM. The serum RANK/RANKL/OPG pathway was assessed in both the groups. Results: Serum OPG levels and RANKL/OPG ratio were lower and higher, respectively, in NET patients harboring BM than in those without BM. During the ROC analysis, a cut-off value of 1071pg/ml for OPG and 0.62 for RANKL/OPG ratio were able to significantly distinguish between the two groups. Conclusions: This study indicates that RANK/RANKL/OPG pathway is imbalanced in patients with NET harboring BM. Specific alterations of this pathway could predict an early development of BM.
- Bone metastases
- Neuroendocrine tumors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis