Skeletal-related events (SREs) are complications of bone metastases and carry a significant patient and economic burden. Denosumab is a receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) inhibitor approved for SRE prevention in patients with multiple myeloma and patients with bone metastases from solid tumors. In phase 3 trials, denosumab showed superiority to the bisphosphonate zoledronate in reducing the risk of first on-study SRE by 17% (median time to first on-study SRE delayed by 8.2 months) and the risk of first and subsequent on-study SREs by 18% across multiple solid tumor types, including some patients with multiple myeloma. Denosumab also improved pain outcomes and reduced the need for strong opioids. Additionally, a phase 3 trial showed denosumab was noninferior to zoledronate in delaying time to first SRE in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Denosumab has a convenient 120 mg every 4 weeks recommended dosing schedule with subcutaneous administration. Rare but serious toxicities associated with denosumab include osteonecrosis of the jaw, hypocalcemia, and atypical femoral fracture events, with multiple vertebral fractures reported following treatment discontinuation. After a decade of real-world clinical experience with denosumab, we are still learning about the optimal use and dosing for denosumab. Despite the emergence of novel and effective antitumor therapies, there remains a strong rationale for the clinical utility of antiresorptive therapy for SRE prevention. Ongoing studies aim to optimize clinical management of patients using denosumab for SRE prevention while maintaining safety and efficacy.
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