Mechanisms and management of bone cancer pain

Michael M. Chau, Denis R. Clohisy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Bone cancer pain is the most common presenting symptom in patients with skeletal metastases and is a unique pain entity recalcitrant to many standard strategies used for acute and chronic pain management. There are nociceptive and neuropathic components of bone cancer pain, which can be persistent at baseline, spontaneous and intermittent, or incident on movement. Bone cancer pain often evolves with disease progression, where continuous afferent stimulation of sensory nerve fibers induces peripheral and central sensitization. Understanding key molecular mechanisms regulating bone cancer pain in the peripheral and central nervous systems is contributing to the development of selective therapies with specific molecular targets. These treatments have the potential to be more efficacious with less systemic adverse side effects. Novel animal models and recent clinical trials have significantly advanced our understanding of bone cancer pain and will be further required to translate new therapeutic strategies from bench to bedside.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBone Cancer
Subtitle of host publicationBone Sarcomas and Bone Metastases - From Bench to Bedside
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128216668
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Bone cancer pain
  • Cancer-induced osteolysis
  • Central sensitization
  • Cytokines
  • Growth factors
  • Peripheral sensitization
  • Targeted drug therapy


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