Use of Bisphosphonates
Bisphosphonates (bone strengthening drugs such as Zometa) have long been used in the treatment of breast cancer that is metastatic to the bone. There has been recent interest in the possibility of adding a hisphosphonate to adjuvant treatment for early breast cancer; there are currently several clinical trials examining this theory.
This is a recent article by Gnant and colleagues at the University of Vienna, published in Breast Cancer Research. Here is a quote:
Bisphosphonates as Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer
Michael Gnant, MD, Peter Dubsky, MD, Florian Fitzal, MD,
Thomas Bachleitner-Hofmann, MD, Ruth Exner, MD, Peter Blaha, MD,
Raimund Jakesz, MD, Walter Schippinger, MD, and Richard Greil, MD
Michael Gnant, MD
Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger
Gürtel 18-20, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.
Current Breast Cancer Reports 2009, 1:54-63
Current Medicine Group LLC ISSN 1943-4588
Copyright © 2009 by Current Medicine Group LLC
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women worldwide. Emerging results from clinical trials in patients with breast cancer suggest that, in addition to preventing cancer treatment-induced bone loss, bisphosphonates may improve disease-free survival (DFS). Although the first adjuvant studies using the early generation oral bisphosphonate clodronate suggested potential reductions in distant recurrence versus placebo in patients with early breast cancer, subsequent results with clodronate were inconsistent, and oral pamidronate produced no disease recurrence benefits versus chemotherapy alone in this setting. In contrast, addition of the newer bisphosphonate zoledronic acid to adjuvant therapy reduced disease recurrence rates and improved DFS compared with adjuvant endocrine therapy alone in two phase 3 studies in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer. Adjuvant zoledronic acid also significantly improved DFS compared with endocrine therapy alone in premenopausal women with breast cancer. Data from ongoing and future trials will further define the role of bisphosphonates in the adjuvant breast cancer setting.
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