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Hormone ablation therapy (HALT) for breast or prostate cancer accelerates the development of osteoporosis in both men and women by causing estrogen deficiency, which increases the risk for fracture by promoting bone resorption mediated by osteoclasts. Denosumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits osteoclast formation and function, increases bone mass in patients undergoing hormone ablation therapy. In the HALT study of 1,468 men with prostate cancer on androgen-deprivation therapy, denosumab significantly reduced the risk of new vertebral fractures, increased bone mineral density (BMD), and reduced markers of bone turnover. In a study of 252 women with breast cancer undergoing adjuvant aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy, denosumab increased BMD at 12 and 24 months, overall and in all patient subgroups. The overall rates of adverse events were similar to placebo. Clinicians should consider fracture risk assessment and therapies such as denosumab to increase bone mass in patients on hormone ablation therapy who are at high risk for fracture.
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