The multidisciplinary approach to bone metastases

Oncology (Williston Park). 2003 Jun;17(6):845-57; discussion 862-3, 867.


With recent advances in the management of cancer, the clinical course of patients with metastatic bone disease is more likely to be prolonged and accompanied by morbidity, including severe pain, hypercalcemia, pathologic fracture, and spinal cord and/or nerve root compression. The early identification of patients at higher risk for developing bone metastases enables practitioners to be proactive in their diagnosis and treatment. A multidisciplinary approach that integrates the diagnosis and treatment of the cancer, symptom management, and rehabilitation ensures optimal care. Bisphosphonates can reduce the number of skeletal-related complications, delay the onset of progressive disease in bone, and relieve metastatic bone pain caused by a variety of solid tumors with a resulting enhanced quality of life. The complexity of the clinical problem and the need to involve an array of health-care providers present a logistical and clinical challenge. A strong argument is made for a thematically integrated bone metastases program as part of the primary care of patients with cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Neoplasms / complications
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Bone Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiotherapy
  • Risk Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Diphosphonates