Navigation Links
Bone Drug Zometa Flops Overall as Breast Cancer Treatment
Date:12/10/2010

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The bone drug zoledronic acid (Zometa), considered a potentially promising weapon against breast cancer recurrence, has flopped in a new study involving more than 3,360 patients.

Zometa did not appear to prevent breast cancer from returning or to boost disease-free survival overall. British researchers presented the disappointing findings Thursday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas.

"As a whole, the study is negative," study author Dr. Robert Coleman, a professor of medical oncology at the University of Sheffield in England, said during a Thursday news conference on the findings. "There is no overall difference in recurrence rates or survival rates [between patients who got the bone drug and those who did not], except in older patients, defined as more than five years after menopause."

That was a possible bright spot in the results.

"In that population, there is a benefit," Coleman said. The older women had a 27 percent improvement in recurrence and a 29 percent improvement in overall survival over the five-year follow-up, compared to those who didn't get the drug.

"There was tremendous hope that this [drug] approach would be a major leap forward," Coleman noted. "There have been other trials that suggest this is the case." In one previous study, the use of the drug was linked with a 32 percent improvement in survival and lowered recurrence in younger women with breast cancer.

Other research has found that healthy women on bone drugs were less prone to develop breast cancer, so experts were hoping the drugs had an anti-tumor effect.

Zometa, marketed by Novartis AG, is used to relieve pain when cancers have spread to the bone -- in part, by slowing bone erosion caused by the disease. It is given intravenously, while other bisphosphonates such as Actonel, Fosamax or Boniva can be taken orally.

In the trial, known as AZURE (Adjuvant Treatment with Zoledronic Acid in State II/III Breast Cancer), Coleman and his colleagues evaluated 3,360 breast cancer patients from 174 participating centers, all with stage II or III cancers but no evidence of metastases (cancer that has spread beyond the original site). About half received the bone drugs plus standard therapy; half just got standard therapy.

The focus was on disease-free survival. After five years, about 400 women in each group either died or had recurrences.

When Coleman's team looked at subgroups, however, they found the benefit among older women, a finding they say warrants more study.

"The younger patients are getting no benefit," Coleman said. "If anything, they are doing a little bit worse."

In addition, there were some troubling side effects among women taking Zometa, including 17 cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw (a severe bone disease that can result in death of the jawbone).

Dr. Sharon Giordano, an associate professor of breast medical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, was not involved in the study but put it in perspective. Bisphosphonates have been used to treat osteoporosis as well as bone complications of breast cancer treatment, she said.

"The role of bisphosphonates in preventing cancer recurrence has been less clear," she said, noting that multiple studies have had conflicting findings.

As for the benefit found in postmenopausal women, she said, "I would consider this hypothesis-generating and not practice-changing."

Other studies underway may provide a clearer answer, she said.

Since the current study was presented at a meeting, its findings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Said Coleman: "Zoledronic acid cannot be routinely recommended for prevention of cancer returning, but it remains a very good drug for patients where the cancer has already spread to the bone."

Coleman disclosed receiving speaker fees from Novartis; the researchers also received academic grant funding from the drug maker.

More information

For more information on bisphosphonates, visit U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: Robert Coleman, M.D., professor, medical oncology, University of Sheffield, England; Charon Giordano, M.D., associate professor, breast medical oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Dec. 9, 2010, presentation, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Texas


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

Related medicine news :

1. Research validates surgery alone offers reasonable overall survival for stage I SCLC
2. News brief: ALDH associated with worse overall survival in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma
3. Survey: Toyota owners maintain high overall satisfaction despite recalls
4. UCSF Tops Public Institutions in NIH Funding, Ranks Second Overall
5. Comparision of overall survival for non-small cell lung cancer patients
6. Hearing Health Key Factor in Men's Overall Health; BHI Joins Men's Health Network in Promoting National Men's Health Month
7. Stage II and stage III colon cancer patients treated after 1995 have improved overall survival
8. Mastectomy Rates Down Overall, New Study Finds
9. New Book 'Ten Minute Stretch' Helps Readers Stretch Their Way to Overall Health and Fitness
10. Paxil Blocks Tamoxifen, Lowers Survival Odds Against Breast Cancer
11. Low forms of cyclin E reduce breast cancer drugs effectiveness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bone Drug Zometa Flops Overall as Breast Cancer Treatment
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... Connor Sports, through its Connor Cares initiative, will continue to expand ... Tour that will commemorate the Indiana Fever legend’s hall-of-fame career and final WNBA ... levels of the game, Connor Sports has committed to a significantly increased focus on ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Cardiac arrhythmia is ... impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team of UPMC researchers in the ... in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, provide critical information that will ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Catalent ... for drugs, biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, today announced two ... support the company’s continued investment and strategic growth plans in the Asia Pacific ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... to provide hair restoration information to the widest possible audience, Dr. Parsa Mohebi is making ... app. Dr. Mohebi, the founder of Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration, is making all of his ... says, “The positive response to the Snapchat videos we started last month has been overwhelming. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Eating Recovery Center, Washington ... opening a brand new child and adolescent residential treatment center on June 1. ... even more specialized eating disorder treatment and access to life-saving care. , To ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... GERMANTOWN, Maryland , May 25, ... Therawis bedient dringenden Bedarf ... QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN ; ... Lizenz- und Entwicklungsvereinbarung mit Therawis Diagnostics GmbH zur ... eingegangen zu sein. Ein erstes Projekt wird die ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Florida , May 25, 2016 ... Conference & Expo earlier this month, the numbers and ... revenues continue to climb into the billions, more research ... newly released 4th Edition State of Legal Marijuana Markets ... a cannabis-focused data-analysis firm, much of the increase in ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds "Chronic ... that provides an overview on therapeutic pipeline of ... stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, mechanism of ... type, along with latest updates, and featured news ... involved in the therapeutic development for Chronic Cough ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: