The Role of Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Bone Metastases

Part of the Cancer Metastasis – Biology and Treatment book series (CMBT, volume 12)


In the event of malignancy the skeleton is one of the most commonly affected organs. Metastatic bone disease is associated with significant morbidity and severe complications and has become an increasingly important quality of life issue. The four main treatment modalities that are currently used for the management of bone metastases are medical treatment (including chemotherapy, bisphosphonates, and hormone therapy), radiotherapy, radiopharmaceuticals and surgery. In most cases the above treatments are either used sequentially or con-comitantly, depending on the extent and location of metastases, associated symptoms, performance status and prognosis of patients.

Combination chemotherapy has shown to be an effective treatment for the overall management of patients with bone metastases, especially for patients with metastatic breast, prostate and small cell lung cancer. The therapeutic outcome and response rates are though limited in chemotherapy-resistant tumors such as non small cell lung cancer and melanoma.


Chemotherapy bone Metastases Breast cancer Prostate cancer Lung cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of OncologyUniversity of Patras Medical School26504 PatrasGreece

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