In this review, benefits and side-effects of current and emerging therapies to treat and prevent pathological bone loss are described. Bisphosphonates are the antiresorptive compounds most widely used in the treatment of bone-loss associated diseases. They are generally well-tolerated although have recently been associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw and other complications. Therapies modulating estrogen receptor activation are indicated in the prevention and treatment of either breast cancer or osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Thus, hormone replacement therapy is effective in prevention of osteoporosis, but its long-term use can increase the risk of breast cancer, stroke and embolism. Tamoxifen benefits all stages of breast cancer, but its use may lead to uterine cancer and thromboembolism. Raloxifene is approved in prevention of breast cancer and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, but its use can increase the risk of fatal stroke. Aromatase inhibitors are superior to tamoxifen at advanced stages of disease and as adjuvants, but their use increase fracture incidence. Fulvestrant is as effective as aromatase inhibitors in the treatment of advanced breast cancer and does not cause bone fractures. Another antiresorptive available for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, Pagets disease and hypercalcemia is calcitonin, which also exhibits analgesic effects. A promising antiresorptive agent currently in clinical trials is denosumab. Aditional therapies for osteoporosis that decrease fracture risk consist of PTH-like anabolic agents and the dual action bone agent strontium ranelate. Antiseptics and antibiotics are used extensively in periodontal disease intervention to target bacterial biofilm, although hostdirected therapies are also being developed.
Keywords: Bone loss, therapy, osteoblast, osteoclast, RANKL, osteoporosis, metastasis, periodontal disease
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