Clinical usefulness of bone markers in prostate cancer with bone metastasis

Int J Urol. 2012 Nov;19(11):968-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2042.2012.03098.x. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


Bone metastases occur in approximately 70% of patients with advanced prostate cancer. Skeletal-related events have been correlated with reduced survival and quality of life of patients with prostate cancer. Biochemical markers of bone metabolism (e.g. bone formation, bone resorption, osteoclastogenesis) might meet an unmet need for useful, non-invasive and sensitive surrogate information for following patients' skeletal health. Recently, zoledronic acid and denosumab have been proven to have the potential for preventing skeletal-related events among prostate cancer patients with bone metastasis. An improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying bone metastasis has also led to the recognition of multiple molecular targets and advances in therapy. However, estimating the efficacy of these agents is difficult. A clinical trial for castration-resistant prostate cancer is currently underway based on the definition of The Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Working Group, and bone turnover markers are being used as conventional end-points for the clinical trial. Bone turnover markers are useful surrogate markers reflecting the effect of new therapeutic drugs and prognosis, as well as assessment of bone metastases. In particular, N-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type 1 collagen and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase are widely used bone metabolism markers, and offer reliable surrogate markers to detect bone metastatic spread and to predict prognosis for prostate cancer patients with bone metastases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor