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Bone Drugs May Beat Back Breast Cancer
Date:12/10/2009

an estrogen receptor-negative tumors.

And in other news from the symposium:

  • Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, led by Brufsky, concluded that zoledronic acid, another bisphosphonate, is safe and effective for use by postmenopausal women with breast cancer who are being treated with aromatase inhibitors. Bone mineral density increased 6.2 percent in women taking zoledronic acid, compared with 2.4 percent in the control group. Fractures were also reduced slightly in the treatment group, but it's unclear how significant this was. Zoledronic acid is marketed under several brand names, including Zometa.
  • A new drug, denosumab, a monoclonal antibody, performed better than zoledronic acid in easing problems associated with the spread of breast cancer to the bones.
  • A final study found that it was safe to give zoledronic acid to women with breast cancer being treated with the aromatase inhibitor Femara (letrozole) before surgery. No clear indication emerged as to whether the dual treatment was effective, however.

More information

The National Cancer Institute has more on breast cancer.



SOURCES: Dec. 9, 2009, teleconference with: Rowan Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., medical oncologist, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, and Adam Brufsky, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, medicine, associate chief, hematology-oncology, and associate director, clinical investigation, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute


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