Risedronate Protects Bone Mass in Breast Cancer Patients

It maintains or even improves bone mineral density

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Once-weekly risedronate protects against chemotherapy-related bone loss in women with breast cancer, according to an article published online April 21 in The Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Susan L. Greenspan, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and colleagues randomized 87 postmenopausal women with breast cancer treated by chemotherapy with or without adjuvant hormone therapy to receive 35 milligrams of oral risedronate once weekly or matching placebo. Bone mineral density (BMD) was assessed at six, 12, 18 and 24 months.

After 24 months, BMD remained stable in the risedronate group at all sites except radial sites, but it had declined significantly at all sites in the placebo group. Adjustment for aromatase inhibitor use showed that women taking aromatase inhibitors plus placebo had the greatest decreases in BMD (4.8 percent at the spine, 2.8 percent at the total hip), while those taking aromatase inhibitors plus risedronate had lower rates of bone loss (2.4 percent at the spine, with stable BMD at the hip). Women who received risedronate and no aromatase inhibitors showed improved BMD (2.2 percent at the total hip).

"We conclude that in postmenopausal women with breast cancer with or without AI (aromatase inhibitor) therapy, once-weekly oral risedronate was beneficial for spine and hip BMD, reduced bone turnover, and was well tolerated," conclude the authors.

This study was partly funded by a Procter and Gamble noncompany-sponsored grant. Three authors report receiving consulting fees, honoraria and research funding from Procter and Gamble.

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