Bone Targeting Agents in Patients with Prostate Cancer: General Toxicities and Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Veronica Mollica, Giacomo Nuvola, Elisa Tassinari, Maria Concetta Nigro, Andrea Marchetti, Matteo Rosellini, Alessandro Rizzo, Costantino Errani, Francesco Massari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Bone metastases are the most frequent site of secondary localization of prostate cancer (PCa) and are present in about 90% of cases of advanced disease. Consequently, an adequate management of bone involvement is of pivotal importance in the therapeutic approach and skeletal-related events (SREs) need to be closely monitored and promptly assessed and treated. Bone targeting agents (BTAs), consisting in bisphosphonates and denosumab, are an essential part of the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer that accompanies systemic treatments throughout the most part of the history of the disease. Activity and safety of bone targeting agents: These treatments are correlated to better outcomes in terms of reduction of SREs and, in metastatic castration resistant setting, of increased overall survival (OS), but several important adverse events have to be managed and prevented. Of these, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is extremely invalidating and should be managed with a special attention.

DISCUSSION: The role of BTAs in prostate cancer is pivotal throughout many stages of the disease, but several toxicities should be quickly recognized and treated. We aim at recollecting evidence on clinical benefit of BTAs, common and specific toxicities, and explore the pathophysiology and clinical aspects of osteonecrosis of the jaw. We present a review of the literature to report the role of the different types of bone targeting agents in the management of prostate cancer with bone metastases with a particular focus on common toxicities and ONJ to recollect current evidences on the activity of these compounds and the correct management of their adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1709-1722
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 5 2022


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents/adverse effects
  • Bone Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Denosumab/adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteonecrosis/chemically induced
  • Prostatic Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Zoledronic Acid/adverse effects


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