Effects of Denosumab on the Geometry of the Proximal Femur in Postmenopausal Women in Comparison with Alendronate

Thomas J. Beck, E. Michael Lewiecki, Paul D. Miller, Dieter Felsenberg, Yu Liu, Beiying Ding, Cesar Libanati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Denosumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody against receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, an essential mediator of osteoclast activity and survival. In postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density (BMD), subcutaneous denosumab decreases bone resorption and increases BMD. This post hoc analysis reports on subjects treated for up to 24 months with denosumab 60 mg 6 monthly (N = 39), placebo (N = 39), or open-label alendronate 70 mg once weekly (N = 38) in a phase 2 study. Hip scans were done by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline, 12, and 24 months; these were analyzed with hip structural analysis software to evaluate BMD and cross-sectional geometry parameters at the narrowest segment of the femoral neck, the intertrochanter, and the proximal shaft. Geometric parameters and derived strength indices included bone cross-sectional area, section modulus, and buckling ratio. At 12 and 24 months denosumab and alendronate improved these parameters compared with placebo. Denosumab effects were greater than alendronate at the intertrochanteric and shaft sites. The magnitude and direction of the changes in structural geometry parameters observed in this study suggest that denosumab treatment may lead to improved bone mechanical properties. Ongoing phase 3 studies will determine whether denosumab reduces fracture risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Densitometry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Bone geometry
  • RANKL inhibitor
  • denosumab
  • hip
  • osteoporosis
  • proximal femur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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