Current Overview of Treatment for Metastatic Bone Disease

Curr Oncol. 2021 Aug 29;28(5):3347-3372. doi: 10.3390/curroncol28050290.


The number of patients with bone metastasis increases as medical management and surgery improve the overall survival of patients with cancer. Bone metastasis can cause skeletal complications, including bone pain, pathological fractures, spinal cord or nerve root compression, and hypercalcemia. Before initiation of treatment for bone metastasis, it is important to exclude primary bone malignancy, which would require a completely different therapeutic approach. It is essential to select surgical methods considering the patient's prognosis, quality of life, postoperative function, and risk of postoperative complications. Therefore, bone metastasis treatment requires a multidisciplinary team approach, including radiologists, oncologists, and orthopedic surgeons. Recently, many novel palliative treatment options have emerged for bone metastases, such as stereotactic body radiation therapy, radiopharmaceuticals, vertebroplasty, minimally invasive spine stabilization with percutaneous pedicle screws, acetabuloplasty, embolization, thermal ablation techniques, electrochemotherapy, and high-intensity focused ultrasound. These techniques are beneficial for patients who may not benefit from surgery or radiotherapy.

Keywords: bone; cancer; chemotherapy; electrochemotherapy; embolization; metastasis; nailing; radiotherapy; resection; thermal ablation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care
  • Quality of Life*