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Bisphosphonates

Bisphosphonates

Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that are used to treat abnormally high blood calcium (hypercalcemia) and bone pain caused by some types of cancer.

Bisphosphonates can reduce the risk of metastases to the bones in cancer patients.

This article in The Lancet talked about a meta-analysis of randomised trials of bisphosphonates involving 18,766 women over a 20 year period. In postmenopausal women, the addition of bisphosphonates resulted in highly significant reductions for bone recurrence (6·6% vs 8·8%) and for breast cancer mortality (14·7% vs 18·0%) at 10 years. This benefit was independent of the type of bisphosphonate, the schedule of bisphosphonate administration, the oestrogen receptor status of the primary tumour, the presence of axillary lymph node involvement, and the use of concomitant systemic chemotherapy. There was no reduction in the incidence of contralateral breast cancer or in the risk of metastasis to non‐osseous [consisting of or turned into bone] sites. This landmark report on breast cancer treatment should lead to widespread adoption of bisphosphonates as a standard of care for the adjuvant therapy of early-stage breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that are used to treat abnormally high blood calcium (hypercalcemia) and bone pain caused by some types of cancer. In breast cancer, bisphosphonates are used primarily to reduce bone loss (osteoporosis) and the risk of fracture among postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive disease who receive aromatase inhibitors.

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Meta-Analysis Finds Benefits of Adjuvant Bisphosphonates for Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

Source: National Cancer Institute
To better understand the potential role of adjuvant bisphosphonate treatment for women with early-stage breast cancer, the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) conducted a meta-analysis of individual patient data for 18,766 participants in 26 randomized trials. These trials compared adjuvant bisphosphonate use for 2 to 5 years with no bisphosphonate use…The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council.

…When the study authors looked at the findings according to the trial participants’ menopausal status, they found that treatment with adjuvant bisphosphonates had no effect on any of the outcomes for premenopausal women. However, among the 11,767 postmenopausal women included in the analysis, the use of bisphosphonates was associated with statistically significant reductions in distant recurrence, in bone recurrence, and in death from breast cancer.

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