Prevention of Symptomatic Skeletal Events With Denosumab Administered Every 4 Weeks Versus Every 12 Weeks

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  • sponsor
    Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research
Updated on 4 October 2022
ct scan
breast cancer
bone scan
bone metastases
castration-resistant prostate cancer
stage iv breast cancer
pet/ct scan


The aim of the trial is to test the hypothesis that the benefit of denosumab is maintained if administered only every 12 weeks as compared to every 4 weeks.


Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody against RANK-Ligand has been shown superior to zoledronic acid in delaying time to a first on-study skeletal related event (SRE) in patients with solid tumors, with no effects on disease progression or survival. Many SREs were silent compression fractures found only because of scheduled imaging. The approved dose of denosumab is 120 mg s.c. every 4 weeks (q4w). Although generally well tolerated, there is a time-dependent increase in osteonecrosis of the jaw in up to 8% of patients. Cases of fatal hypocalcaemia were observed during post marketing surveillance.

The optimal dose and schedule for denosumab is unknown. Denosumab is associated with considerable costs and may add toxicity; thus a study of de-escalation is warranted.

The aim of the trial is to test the hypothesis that the benefit of Denosumab is maintained if administered 120 mg q12w as compared to 120 mg q4w. The primary endpoint of this open-label randomized phase III non-inferiority trial is time to first on-trial symptomatic skeletal event (SSE: i.e. clinically significant pathological fracture, radiation therapy to bone, surgery to bone or spinal cord compression). With a non-inferiority margin of 1.2 for the hazard ratio, a power 80% and a type I error 5%, the total sample size is 1380. Secondary endpoints are safety, time to subsequent on-trial SSE, quality of life, health economic outcomes, and change in bone turnover markers. This study is open for international collaboration.

Condition Metastatic Breast Cancer, Metastatic Prostate Cancer, Bone Metastases
Treatment Denosumab (reduced dosing), Denosumab (standard dosing)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02051218
SponsorSwiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research
Last Modified on4 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patient has given written informed consent
Histologically confirmed diagnosis of breast or prostate cancer before randomization
Patient has metastatic breast cancer (stage IV, all subtypes allowed) or prostate cancer (stage IV) and bone metastases and is planned to receive or is receiving antineoplastic treatment
Patients with prostate cancer must have evidence of disease progression on continuous androgen deprivation therapy (CRPC)
Patients must have ≥ 3 bone metastases (lytic or blastic or mixed). The lesions must be documented by radiological evaluation within 12 weeks before randomization (by X-Ray, CT scan, PET-CT, MRI scan or bone scintigraphy)
WHO performance status 0-2
Age ≥ 18 years
Corrected serum calcium ≥ 2 mmol/l and ≤ 3 mmol/l (medical treatments to obtain serum calcium levels in the normal range are allowed, as far as no denosumab is used. Maximally 1 dose of bisphosphonates in the case of hypercalcemia is allowed, if the bisphosphonate was applied at least 3 weeks before the first dose of denosumab)
Liver transaminases not more than 1.5 x ULN or not more than 3 x ULN with liver metastases. Serum total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 x ULN (≤ 2.0 x ULN in case of known Gilbert's disease)
Women are not breastfeeding. Women with child-bearing potential are using effective contraception, are not pregnant and agree not to become pregnant during participation in the trial and during the 12 months thereafter. A negative pregnancy test before inclusion (within 7 days) into the trial is required for all women with child-bearing potential
Men agree not to father a child during participation in the trial and during 12 months thereafter

Exclusion Criteria

Definite contraindication for denosumab (e.g. hypocalcaemia [Albumin-corrected serum calcium < 2.0 mmol/l])
History or current evidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw
Non-healed mucosa in oral cavity (by surgery or as a side effect of any other treatment)
Jaw or dental conditions that require oral surgery or if surgery or invasive dental procedures are planned
Prior use of denosumab for bone metastases (dose 120 mg every 4 weeks) or bisphosphonates to treat bone metastases. Patients treated with denosumab or bisphosphonates against osteopenia or osteoporosis are allowed to enter the trial if the last dose was more than 28 days before randomization
Patients with known osteoporosis (T-score ≤ -2.5) at study entry (since fractures from osteoporosis are difficult to be discriminated from fractures through bone metastases)
Radiotherapy or surgery to the bone within the last two weeks before randomization or planned within 6 weeks after randomization
Presence or history of CNS metastases or leptomeningeal disease. A MRI evaluation within 12 weeks before randomization must be performed in case of suspicious symptoms
Psychiatric disorder precluding understanding of information on trial related topics, giving informed consent, filling out QoL forms
Concurrent treatment in a clinical trial with SSE or SRE as primary endpoint
Known hypersensitivity to trial drug or hypersensitivity to any other component of the trial drug (e.g. fructose)
Any concomitant drugs contraindicated for use with the trial drugs according to the approved product information
Any psychological, familial, sociological or geographical condition potentially hampering compliance with the trial protocol
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