Oral Bone Drugs and Breast Cancer
These are comments from BreastCancer.org about two studies reported earlier this month at the San Antonio Breast Cancer meetings. It has been known for some time that Zometa, an IV bone-strengthening drug, seems to reduce the risk of a bone recurrence for women who have been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. These two new studies examined the possible value of oral bone drugs and found that they did not provide the same benefit. Here is the beginning of this report and then a link:
SABCS: Oral Bone Drugs Fail Breast Cancer Test
Bisphosphonates are medicines used to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Some research has suggested that bisphosphonates also might help stop breast cancer from spreading to the bones by making it harder for breast cancer cells to grow in bones and might help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back (recurrence) in women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
Adding the intravenous bisphosphonate Zometa (chemical name: zoledronic acid) at the start of early-stage breast cancer treatment has been shown to reduce recurrence risk in postmenopausal and older premenopausal
But two other studies discussed here found that two oral (taken by mouth) bisphosphonates didn't reduce recurrence risk for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
The results were presented at the 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Bisphosphonates used to prevent or treat osteoporosis include:
Actonel (chemical name: risedronate)
Bonefos (chemical name: clodronate)
Boniva (chemical name: ibandronate)
Fosamax (chemical name: alendronate)
Reclast (chemical name: zoledronic acid -- the same active ingredient as Zometa)
Reclast is given intravenously once a year. The others are pills taken by mouth.