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Bisphosphonate Exposure Not Linked With Esophageal Cancer

Incidence of esophageal, gastric cancer similar in bisphosphonate users and controls

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be no association between oral bisphosphonate use and risk of esophageal or gastric cancer, according to research published in the Aug. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Chris R. Cardwell, Ph.D., of Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined data on 41,826 patients receiving oral bisphosphonates and the same number of controls over a mean follow-up of about four and a half years.

The researchers found 116 and 115 esophageal or gastric cancers in the treatment group and control group, respectively. No difference was found between the groups in risk for esophageal and gastric cancers combined for any bisphosphonate use, and no difference in risk for either of the two cancers according to duration of use.

"In conclusion, in the U.K. General Practice Research Database patient population we found no evidence for a substantially increased risk of esophageal (or gastric) cancer in persons using oral bisphosphonates. These drugs should not be withheld, on the basis of possible esophageal cancer risk, from patients with a genuine clinical indication for their use," the authors conclude.

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