Denosumab (Xgeva)

Denosumab is a targeted therapy used for the treatment of secondary breast cancer in the bone. Denosumab is the generic (non-branded) name of the drug, although its brand name is Xgeva.

How does denosumab work?

It works by attaching to a substance called Rank Ligand (RANKL) (receptor activator of nuclear factor k), which is involved in activating osteoclasts and causing bone to be broken down. By blocking RANKL, denosumab reduces bone loss, making complications of secondary breast cancer in the bone less likely to happen.

It’s usually given for as long as the secondary cancer in the bone is under control.

How is it given?

Denosumab is given once every four weeks as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) into the thigh, abdomen or upper arm. Read about the side effects of denosumab and how you can manage them.

Last reviewed: April 2015
Next planned review begins 2017

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