A case of denosumab-induced hypocalcaemia in a patient with non-metastatic prostate cancer and renal impairment

Denosumab is an emerging new treatment for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men with non-metastatic prostate cancer. It is largely used by specialists as an alternative treatment in patients with contraindications to traditional, more commonly used drugs such as bisphosphonates. One important side effect is hypocalcaemia, which may be life threatening. The risk of this is increased in renal impairment, mainly if eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73m2, and is exacerbated by vitamin D insufficiency.

Non-surgical treatment for early prostate cancer

Prostate cancer incidence is rising due to the ageing population and increased public and doctor awareness. The role of screening is still not clear due to the large number of asymptomatic men who would need to be screened and treated to prevent one death. Discussion of all treatment options should be undertaken, with the patient having the opportunity to meet a clinical oncologist and urological surgeon. Treatment options include active surveillance, external beam radiotherapy, brachytherapy and surgery.