Denosumab for management of parathyroid carcinoma-mediated hypercalcemia

Priyathama Vellanki*, Karoline Lange, Dina Elaraj, Peter A. Kopp, Malek El Muayed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Context: Most of the morbidity and mortality from parathyroid cancer is due to PTH-mediated hypercalcemia. Classically, management mainly consists of surgical resection, chemotherapy, and alleviation of hypercalcemia using bisphosphonates and calcium receptor agonists. The use of denosumab in the treatment of parathyroid cancer-mediated hypercalcemia has not been reported. Objective: The aim of this report is to describe the effect of denosumab on parathyroid cancerinduced hypercalcemia. Subject, Measures, and Result: The patient is a 39-year-oldmanwith metastatic parathyroid cancer who presented at age 35. His calcium levels initially responded to surgery, bisphosphonates, calcium receptor agonist, and chemotherapy (dacarbazine). However, his disease progressed, and his hypercalcemia became refractory to these measures in the setting of rising PTH levels. The addition of denosumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody inhibiting receptor activator of nuclear factor B ligand resulted in successful management of his hypercalcemia for an additional 16 months. Conclusions: Denosumab can be effective in the treatment of refractory hypercalcemia in parathyroid cancer. It may also be of potential use in settings of benign hyperparathyroid-related hypercalcemia such as parathyromatosis, where hypercalcemia is not amenable to surgery or medical therapy with bisphosphonates and calcium receptor agonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-390
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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