Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bone loss drug could prevent breast cancer spread to bones

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 1, 2014 – A drug used to slow osteoporosis may prevent breast cancer from spreading to the bones, a new study suggests.

Dr. Richard Kremer and co-lead author, Dr. Nancy Mayo, of McGill University Health Center, in Montreal, Canada, worked with colleagues to evaluate data from more than 21,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer. The study was published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).

They evaluated the relationship between use of oral bisphosphonates, drugs used to slow bone loss, and development of bone metastases after diagnosis with breast cancer in two groups of women. One group had early stage, localized, cancer that hand not spread, and a group whose cancer had spread to lymph nodes. Bisphosphonates include brand names ReClast, Zometa, Fosamax.

Their findings showed that women with early stage breast cancer who had taken oral bisphosphonates, either before or after diagnosis of their cancer, had a reduced risk of bone metastasis. In addition, their study showed that women with later stage cancer, who took oral bisphosphonates after diagnosis, also had a significantly reduced risk of bone metastasis.

The researchers also established a dose-response relationship with oral bisphophonate in women with local disease. The longer time spent on bisphophonate medication resulted in a greater reduction of bone metastases.

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