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Karmanos Cancer Institute Researchers Study Bisphosphonates and Their Affect on Early Stage Breast Cancer
Date:6/5/2010

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However, after adjusting for differences between the groups in age, disease stage, hormone receptor status, endocrine therapy and vitamin D and calcium use, there was a marginally significant difference of 0.07 (on a scale of 0.00 to 1.00) in the three-year survival probability rate between users and non-users, favoring bisphosphonate non-users. In other words, what was thought to have anti-tumor properties appeared to be causing a poorer survival rate in bisphosphonate users as compared to non-users.

Dr. Nahleh said that results are preliminary and that more work needs to occur to understand why bisphosphonates may be lowering the survival rates in some female patients.

"This is just an eye-opener for us to await more studies on bisphosphonates and women with nonmetastatic breast cancer," she said. "It's something worth looking at and we still have a lot of work to do on this subject."

Dr. Nahleh mentioned that bisphosphonates are a regularly prescribed treatment for women with metastatic breast cancer, meant to ward off cancer cells from invading the bones. Because of their reported anti-tumor activity, some doctors may be inclined to prescribe them for women with nonmetastatic breast cancer for their possible anti-cancer properties. But this practice should be currently discouraged until the availability of the results from large ongoing prospective trials, according to Dr. Nahleh.

"The reason for our study is we are looking for improved outcomes in women with early stage breast cancer," she said. "We are evaluating the results from this study. But right now, I think we're justified in saying to these nonmetastatic breast cancer patients, let's wait until we get more data before we prescribe bisphosphonates."

There are randomized trials occurring right now to study bisp
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SOURCE Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
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