Bisphosphonates for cancer treatment : mechanisms of action and lessons from clinical trials
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Oxford :Pergamon-elsevier science ltd
Pharmacology and therapeutics. - Oxford
, p. 24-40
University of Antwerp
A growing body of evidence points toward an important anti-cancer effect of bisphosphonates, a group of inexpensive, safe, potent, and long-term stable pharmacologicals that are widely used as osteoporosis drugs. To date, they are already used in the prevention of complications of bone metastases. Because the bisphosphonates can also reduce mortality in among other multiple myeloma, breast, and prostate cancer patients, they are now thoroughly studied in oncology. In particular, the more potent nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates have the potential to improve prognosis. The first part of this review will elaborate on the direct and indirect anti-tumoral effects of bisphosphonates, including induction of tumor cell apoptosis, inhibition of tumor cell adhesion and invasion, anti-angiogenesis, synergism with anti-neoplastic drugs, and enhancement of immune surveillance (e.g., through activation of gamma delta T cells and targeting macrophages). In the second part, we shed light on the current clinical position of bisphosphonates in the treatment of hematological and solid malignancies, as well as on ongoing and completed clinical trials investigating the therapeutic effect of bisphosphonates in cancer. Based on these recent data, the role of bisphosphonates is expected to further expand in the near future outside the field of osteoporosis and to open up new avenues in the treatment of malignancies. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.