Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OPG (osteoprotegerin), a secreted member of the TNF (tumour necrosis factor) receptor superfamily, has a variety of biological functions which include the regulation of bone turnover. OPG is a potent inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption and has been investigated as a potential therapeutic for the treatment of both osteoporosis and tumour-induced bone disease. Indeed, in murine models of cancer-induced bone disease, inhibition of osteoclastic activity by OPG was also associated with a reduction in tumour burden. The discovery that OPG can bind to and inhibit the activity of TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) triggered extensive research into the potential role of OPG in the regulation of tumour cell survival. A number of reports from studies using in vitro models have shown that OPG protects tumour cells from the effects of TRAIL, thereby possibly providing tumour cells that produce OPG with a survival advantage. However, the ability of OPG to act as a tumour cell survival factor remains to be verified using appropriate in vivo systems. A third area of interest has been the use of OPG as a prognostic marker in various cancer types, including myeloma, breast and prostate cancer. This review provides an overview of the role of OPG in cancer, both in cancer-induced bone disease and in tumour growth and survival.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin sci (lond)

Publication Date





279 - 291


Animals, Apoptosis, Bone Remodeling, Bone Resorption, Cell Survival, Female, Glycoproteins, Humans, Male, Neoplasms, Osteoprotegerin, Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor