The value of biomarkers in bone metastasis

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Abstract

The worst complication of cancer is represented by its spread to distant sites. In particular, bone provides a fertile soil for several cancer types, especially those derived from breast, prostate and lung tumours. Despite the progress in diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, bone metastases (BM) still impact on quality of life and overall survival, making it necessary to identify the “high-risk” patients at an earlier stage.

Since BM affect physiological bone turnover, measurement of bone turnover markers (BTM) has been widely investigated for diagnostic and prognostic purposes, as well as to support the development of anti-cancer drugs. Furthermore, biomarkers are still under intensive investigation for their potential BM predictive role.

The review summarises the current knowledge on BM development and the most recent advances in biomarker research, focusing on breast, prostate and lung malignancies.

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