Dual X-ray absorptiometry detects disease- and treatment-related alterations of bone density in prostate cancer patients
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Metastatic bone disease is an important clinical problem which has proven difficult to study because of a lack of noninvasive investigative modalities. Here we show that dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning provides clinically useful information about the status of metastatic bone lesions in cancer patients undergoing palliative treatment. In the study group of 21 patients, a significant increase in metastatic bone mineral density (BMD) was confirmed in prostate (n=14) relative to breast (n=7) cancer patients. With respect to the prostate cancer cohort, further increases in lesional BMD were evident in all evaluable patients in whom biochemical progression occurred; conversely, lesional BMD declined in patients who had a partial response to therapy. BMD of uninvolved bone decreased with all types of androgen-deprivation therapy regardless of whether patients responded or relapsed. We conclude that BMD changes in both lesional and uninvolved bone are readily detectable in metastatic prostate cancer, and propose that DXA scanning represents a promising new approach to monitoring the natural history and therapeutic course of this disease.
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