Navigation Links
Study Suggests Osteoporosis Drug Might Treat Loss of Bone in Jaw

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- People suffering from a disfiguring loss of bone in the jaw may find help in the form of a long-used osteoporosis drug, two new studies suggest.

Besides being linked to chronic, severe gum disease, this type of bone loss has also been connected in rare cases to the use of bisphosphonates, a different class of osteoporosis drugs.

But the two papers in the Oct. 16 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine report success with teriparatide (Forteo) in rebuilding bone.

One report describes the case of an 88-year-old woman who had been taking the bisphosphonate alendronate (Fosamax) since suffering a hip fracture 10 years earlier. She had also been taking the corticosteroid prednisone for two decades.

Experts have already noticed an uptick in the incidence of this rare but devastating condition in patients using bisphosphonates.

According to an editorial accompanying the study, this complication occurs in about 5 percent of cancer patients who are taking a high-dose bisphosphonate (Zometa or Aredia) to control or prevent spread of malignancy to the bone. It is much rarer in people who take a lower-dose bisphosphonate (such as Actonel, Boniva or Fosamax) for osteoporosis.

The 88-year-old woman described in the journal report had been experiencing pain in her jaw for a year and was subsequently diagnosed with osteonecrosis, a debilitating "death" of bone due to loss of blood flow.

After eight weeks of treatment with Forteo, though, the pain went away and the osteonecrosis resolved, reported the authors, from Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia.

The editorial pointed out, however, that Forteo should not be used in patients whose cancer has already spread to the bone, as it might prompt even more spread.

It's also possible that the corticosteroid therapy she was taking could have contributed to the woman's bone loss, the authors stated.

The second paper involved 40 patients with severe gum disease that had affected their jaws, all of whom first underwent surgery on their jaw. They were then randomized to receive either Forteo or a placebo. All participants took calcium and vitamin D as well.

"These were patients with severe periodontal disease but who were otherwise systemically healthy," said study senior author Dr. Laurie K. McCauley, chair of the department of periodontic and oral medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

After six weeks of therapy, patients in the Forteo arm saw greater healing of their jawbone and this continued throughout one year of follow-up.

"There was a significant improvement in clinical measures of gum and bone," McCauley stated.

But, she pointed out, Forteo is not yet approved for this indication, so "we can't recommend it next week."

Right now, a bone graft is probably the most common type of therapy for this type of bone loss, she said.

"I think that it's really an important important proof-of-concept that you can inject locally and get a response," said Dr. Rena D'Souza, chair of biomedical sciences at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. "We could not only use this approach for the treatment of periodontal disease where the disease enters the bone and gum. but also other forms of periodontal disease."

"Bisphosphonates cut back on blood flow and blood vessels so that cancer doesn't have a chance," she said. "That is why it's used very effectively for cancer but if you happen to injure the bone or take out a tooth you really need the blood vessels. The bone cells don't have the ability to lay down new bone."

More information

The American Academy of Periodontology has more on gum disease.

SOURCES: Laurie K. McCauley, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor and chair, department of periodontic and oral medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Rena D'Souza, chair, biomedical sciences, Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas; Oct. 16, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Study Suggests Osteoporosis Drug Might Treat Loss of Bone in Jaw
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... On Tuesday 27 Oct ... to educate the personnel on spinal decompression therapy and offer his professional help. ... procedure. The benefits come from creating negative intradiscal pressure which is conducive to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition has announced the ... System Atrophy (MSA) research, timed today to coincide with Giving Tuesday 2015, a global ... their ability to work and be productive, to do simple daily activities like walking ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The North American Meat ... that meat and poultry play in a healthy, balanced diet. , includes ... visitors can check their “meat IQ,” a section offering straight talk on controversies, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically ... patent that allows for easier packing and organizing of items into one big, portable ... says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing and Desa ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Henderson, a town of about ... Internet through a partnership this year with Aeneas Internet and Telephone. , With ... destination for entrepreneurs who want to build a business. Whether startups or long ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- A large study of patients with breast cancer who ... found no increased risk of recurrence. The Kaiser Permanente ... National Cancer Institute. --> ... drug taken by women with breast cancer to reduce ... for five years, but has notable side effects, including ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... BOTHELL Wash. and VANCOUVER ... Monitoring Committee (DMC) meeting, OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... trial is continuing based on the pre-planned interim futility ... safety review, no new safety issues were identified by ... to all analyses and final results are expected in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... HERNDON, Va. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... (FDA) Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) approaches, ... helping small and independent pharmacies comply with looming ... --> InfiniTrak is entering endorsement agreements with ... a pharmacy services administration organization (PSAO) to exclusively ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: