ecancermedicalscience

Review

Bone metastasis risk factors in breast cancer

24 Jan 2017
Catarina Pulido, Inês Vendrell, Arlindo R Ferreira, Sandra Casimiro, André Mansinho, Irina Alho, Luís Costa

Bone is the single most frequent site for bone metastasis in breast cancer patients. Patients with bone-only metastasis have a fairly good prognosis when compared with patients with visceral disease. Nevertheless, cancer-induced bone disease carries an important risk of developing skeletal related events that impact quality of life (QoL). It is therefore particularly important to stratify patients according to their risk of developing bone metastasis. In this context, several risk factors have been studied, including demographic, clinicopathological, genetic, and metabolic factors. Most of them show conflicting or non-definitive associations and are not validated for clinical use. Nonetheless, tumour intrinsic subtype is widely accepted as a major risk factor for bone metastasis development and luminal breast cancer carries an increased risk for bone disease. Other factors such as gene signatures, expression of specific cytokines (such as bone sialoprotein and bone morphogenetic protein 7) or components of the extracellular matrix (like bone crosslinked C-telopeptide) might also influence the development of bone metastasis. Knowledge of risk factors related with bone disease is of paramount importance as it might be a prediction tool for triggering the use of targeted agents and allow for better patient selection for future clinical trials.

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