Navigation Links
Bone-Building Pills Appear to Lower Invasive Breast Cancer Risk

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Bone-building drugs known as bisphosphonates appear to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer by around 30 percent, two new studies show.

"If a woman is considering bisphosphonate use for bone, this might be another potential benefit," said Dr. Rowan T. Chlebowski, a clinical oncologist at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. He is the lead author of one of the two studies on the topic, published online this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The findings were first presented late last year at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, but Chlebowski said the results now have the benefit of having been peer-reviewed before publication for scientific accuracy.

Chlebowski and his colleagues looked at nearly 155,000 women who participated in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, evaluating the 2,816 women who took oral bisphosphonates at the study start and comparing them to women who did not.

Ninety percent of the women who were taking the bone-building drugs took alendronate (Fosamax), according to the study.

After nearly eight years of follow-up, Chlebowski found invasive breast cancer incidence was 32 percent lower in those on bone-building drugs, with ER-positive cancers reduced by 30 percent. The incidence of ER-negative cancers in those on bisphosphonates also decreased, but not by enough to be statistically significant.

The incidence of early, noninvasive breast cancers, known as ductal carcinoma in situ, was 42 percent higher in bisphosphonate users, so the bisphosphonates could somehow be selectively affecting invasive cancers, Chlebowski postulated.

In a second study, conducted in Israel, researchers looked at 4,039 postmenopausal women, including some who took bisphosphonates and some who did not. Those who took the drug longer than a year had a 39 percent reduced risk of breast cancer; after adjusting for factors such as age and family history, there was still a risk reduction of 28 percent.

Exactly how the drugs reduce risk isn't known. Chlebowski speculated that the drugs may block the release of growth factors that would encourage tumors to grow or may block blood vessel formation within a tumor.

It's known that low bone mineral density (BMD) is linked with a reduced risk of breast cancer, and women with low BMD are likely to be on the drugs. So for the study analysis, Chlebowski adjusted for this possible confounding effect by incorporating a hip fracture risk score to take into account the bone mineral differences between drug users and non-users.

Another expert, Dr. Joanne Mortimer, director of the women's cancers program at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif., pointed out that the studies found an associative link, not a cause-and-effect, so it's not definitive.

However, she said, "for people with osteoporosis, it's one more reason to feel comfortable taking a bisphosphonate."

Like other medications, the drugs have favorable and unfavorable effects. For instance, researchers recently found women on the bone-building drugs can have a higher risk of an uncommon fracture; that research is being evaluated further, Mortimer said.

>From the two studies, however, Mortimer said, it appears that "these drugs change the environment in such a way that cancer cells are less likely to take root and grow, not only in the bone marrow but elsewhere as well."

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Michael Gnant, of the Medical University of Vienna, said future studies will help pinpoint the benefit of the drugs in breast cancer incidence reduction and supply more answers as to their best use.

Chlebowski reported that he has been a consultant to Novartis and Amgen, which make the bone-building medications.

More information

To learn more about osteoporosis, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

SOURCES: Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., clinical oncologist, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Calif.; Joanne Mortimer, M.D., director, women's cancers program, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif.; June 21, 2010, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Quantity vs. quality: Long-term use of bone-building osteoporosis drugs
2. Ephedrine Launches Review Site Examining Ephedrine HCL & Ephedra Based Diet Pills
3. Nicer than needles: Insulin pills for diabetes finally in clinical trials
4. Clinical trial finds azithromycin pills equal to penicillin shots for treating early syphilis
5. New research into safer drugs puts pills through the printer
6. Online Brazilian Diet Pills Can Be Addictive
7. Fish Oil Pills Turn Back The Clock On Aging
8. Retraining Women's Minds and Bodies for Lasting Weight Loss -- Without Pills or Diets
9. Ear Tubes Appear to Be Safe Before Cochlear Implantation
10. Celebrex Appears Easier on Stomach for Arthritis Patients
11. So far, fish appear to be healthy after fly ash spill
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Bone-Building Pills Appear to Lower Invasive Breast Cancer Risk
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also think ... during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to receive ... high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see all ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that he joined ... offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing on a ... cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, travel gifts ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... NE (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs ... searched by healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group ... during the month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., the first ... annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by the International ... November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with Women’s Web – ... their reader’s queries on topics on mental and emotional well-being relationship, life ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November 26, ... --> --> ... Research Report" and "Investigation Report on ... 2019 and 2021 forecasts data and ... library. . ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the European Cell Surface Marker ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Congress ... of Dimes cheered today,s signature into law of ... 2015 (S.799), which takes much-needed strides to ... drugs, such as opioids, and to improve their ... have worked together leading advocacy efforts for its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: