Denosumab for joints and bones

Research paper by E. Michael Lewiecki

Indexed on: 21 Jul '09Published on: 21 Jul '09Published in: Current Rheumatology Reports


Denosumab is an investigational, fully human monoclonal antibody with a high affinity and specificity for receptor activator of nuclear factor κ B ligand (RANKL), a cytokine member of the tumor necrosis factor family. RANKL, an essential mediator of osteoclast formation, function, and survival, plays a major role in the pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis, structural damage in rheumatoid arthritis, and bone loss associated with other skeletal disorders. Denosumab suppresses bone turnover by inhibiting the action of RANKL on osteoclasts. Denosumab reduces bone turnover and increases bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density, reduces fracture risk in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, and inhibits structural damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when added to ongoing methotrexate treatment. It is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile. Adverse and serious adverse events, including infections and malignancy, are similar in patients treated with denosumab or placebo.