Navigation Links
Bone Drug Reduces Odds for Breast Cancer's Return: Study
Date:6/3/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Early stage breast cancer patients can see their chances of the cancer's return drop by 32 percent when the osteoporosis drug Zometa is added to regular hormone therapy for three years after surgery, Austrian researchers report.

Women undergoing hormone treatment for breast cancer are prone to develop osteoporosis, so they are usually given a bisphosphonate such as Zometa (zoledronic acid), to build bone strength. However, Zometa appears to have the additional benefit of reducing the risk of cancer recurrence, according to Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

"Aromatase inhibitors [like Arimidex] cause osteoporosis, and you must put a patient who is being put on an aromatase inhibitor on some type of osteoporosis preventive therapy," Brawley said. "This study says that putting a patient on Zometa may have even a bigger bang for the buck than the prevention of osteoporosis."

Although exactly how Zometa reduces the risk of recurrence isn't known, lead researcher Dr. Michael Gnant, a professor of surgery at the Medical University of Vienna, said he thinks "it prohibits dormant tumor cells in the bone marrow from 'waking up.'"

"Zometa actually hardens the bone and makes it more difficult for the cancer to actually implant," Brawley added.

The report was published in the June 4 online edition of The Lancet Oncology to coincide with the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting in Chicago, where the findings were to be presented Friday.

For the study, Gnant's team enrolled 1,803 premenopausal women with early-stage hormone-receptive breast cancer. The trial was funded by drug makers AstraZeneca and Novartis.

The women were randomly assigned to tamoxifen alone, tamoxifen plus Zometa, Arimidex (anastrozole) or Arimidex plus Zometa. Zometa infusions were given every six months during the three years of the trial.

The choice of hormone drugs is important, because while Arimidex is associated with a risk of developing osteoporosis, tamoxifen isn't. So women prescribed tamoxifen would not usually be given an osteoporosis drug, Brawley explained.

In 2009, after four years of follow-up, the researchers reported women receiving Zometa had a 36 percent reduction in the risk of a recurrence of breast cancer, compared with women not on the drug. There were also indications that Zometa extended overall survival, the researchers said.

The current report looks at more than five years of follow-up, which is more than two years after treatment with Zometa was stopped.

The researchers found that women receiving Zometa had substantially better disease-free survival (92 percent) than women receiving hormone therapy alone (88 percent). This is a 32 percent reduction in the risk of a recurrence of breast cancer among those who had received Zometa, they noted.

These results were seen among women taking either tamoxifen or Arimidex plus Zometa. However, overall survival was worse among women receiving Arimidex, they added.

The effect of Zometa was even more pronounced in women over 40, where the risk of the cancer's recurrence was cut by 42 percent.

In addition, Zometa was associated with a reduction in cancers developing in bone and other sites as well as breast cancer in the breast where cancer was found and in the unaffected breast, Gnant's group found.

The researchers added that Zometa was well-tolerated and side effects, which included joint pain, bone pain and fever, were relatively mild. There were also no cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw (death of bone in the jaw), which Zometa has been linked to when the drug is given for osteoporosis after major dental work, Brawley noted.

This study showed that "disease-free survival increased, it's not powered for overall survival," Brawley said. "There have been recent studies where disease-free survival was increased, but ultimately overall survival was not."

"This is something to consider," Brawley said. "I never change my practice based on one trial. But, I see very little harm in giving Zometa along with aromatase inhibitors. Many of the patients I take care of already get this anyway," he added.

In the United States, Zometa is sold to wholesalers for $844.10 per dose, according to Dana Kahn Cooper, a spokeswoman for AstraZeneca.

"As Zometa is a physician-administered drug by infusion, the cost to the consumer is generally their doctor visit co-pay, which varies based on insurance coverage," Cooper said. "Some patients have drug co-pay as well. We do not set retail prices. Price around the world varies by country."

More information

For more on breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Michael Gnant, M.D., professor, surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Austria; Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Dana Kahn Cooper, spokeswoman, AstraZeneca; June 4, 2011, The Lancet Oncology, online; June 3, 2011, presentation, American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, Chicago


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Service Foods Reduces its Carbon Footprint and Grows Sales
2. Health Care Reform Report Covers Uninsured, Reduces Costs
3. New cardiac CT technology drastically reduces patient radiation exposure
4. Accelerated radiation therapy reduces toxicity in patients with advanced head and neck cancers
5. Targeted delivery of losartan reduces liver inflammation and scarring
6. Drug dramatically reduces nausea and vomiting in bone marrow transplant patients
7. Soccer reduces risk of falls and bone fractures
8. Pioneering treatment reduces disability in premature babies with serious brain hemorrhage
9. New drug candidate reduces blood lipids
10. PSA Test Reduces Prostate Cancer Deaths by 40%
11. New technique reduces tobacco smoke damage to lungs in mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bone Drug Reduces Odds for Breast Cancer's Return: Study 
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library ... City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ... for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys ... peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing ... members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing ... contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by ... Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.C. , June 24, 2016  Consumers ... decisions and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on ... environment, patient support programs in the pharmaceutical industry ... patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on ... they are providing products and services that improve ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) ... developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous ... the closing of its previously announced underwritten public ... the public offering price of $18.75 per share. ... offered by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the " Global ... This report ... provides an updated review, including its applications in various ... total market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: