From bone to breast and back - the bone cytokine RANKL and breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res. 2011 May 25;13(3):107. doi: 10.1186/bcr2842.


Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) plays a pivotal role in regulating bone homeostasis. Osteoporosis and malignant bone disease secondary to breast cancer are characterized by enhanced RANKL production and increased bone turnover. Thus, denosumab, a monoclonal antibody to RANKL, has been developed and is now approved for various bone loss conditions. Recent results indicate that RANKL may also promote the development and osseous migration of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bone Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Bone Remodeling
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Denosumab
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism
  • RANK Ligand / antagonists & inhibitors
  • RANK Ligand / immunology
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • RANK Ligand
  • TNFSF11 protein, human
  • Denosumab