For patients with breast cancer, oral bisphosphonates may reduce risk for developing bone metastases
the ONA take:
According to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, oral bisphosphonates taken by postmenopausal women to treat osteoporosis may also slow skeletal metastases caused by breast cancer.
For the study, the researchers identified more than 21,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer. The researchers looked at the relationship between oral bisphosphonates, such as alendronate and risedronate, and the development of skeletal metastases after the patients were diagnosed with breast cancer. The patients were divided into two groups: those with early stage, localized cancer and those with locally advanced breast cancer.
The researchers found that women with early stage, localized breast cancer who had taken oral bisphosphonates before or after their cancer diagnosis had a decreased risk for developing bone metastases compared with women with locally advanced breast cancer.
Furthermore, women with locally advanced who received bisphosphonates after being diagnoses had a significantly decreased risk for developing bone metastases compared with those who did not take bisphosphonates. Women who took oral bisphosphonates for a longer period of time had a larger reduction of bone metastases.
Oral bisphosphonates for osteoporosis may also slow metastases from breast cancer.
Treatment approaches to reduce the risk of bone complications (metastasis) associated with breast cancer may be one step closer to becoming a reality. According to a study led by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), findings show that medication used to treat bone deterioration in post-menopausal women may also slow skeletal metastasis caused from breast cancer.
This study, published in this month's issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), is among the first to link bisphosphonate (a common osteoporosis medication) use with improved survival in women with breast cancer. "Skeletal metastases develop in up to 70 percent of women who die from breast cancer," says study co-lead author, Dr. Richard Kremer, director of the Bone and Mineral Unit at the MUHC and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. "This causes considerable suffering and is life-threatening. Preventing this could translate into saving a significant number of lives."
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