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American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Sept. 16-19, 2006

American Society for Bone and Mineral Research's 28th Annual Scientific Meeting

The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research's 28th annual scientific meeting was held Sept. 16-19 in Philadelphia and drew about 5,300 attendees from around the world. The meeting featured important new basic science work on vitamin D and clinical data on the efficacy of new bone and blood vessel growth stimulators.

"Based on the feedback we've been getting, this was a spectacular meeting," said Andrew Arnold, M.D., of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and basic science co-chair for the meeting.

This year, discussion centered on vitamin D's role in the body. Daniel Bikle, M.D., of University of California San Francisco, found that vitamin D has "all sorts important effects in a variety of other non-skeletal tissues, including skin and the immune system," said Arnold, "and some data suggest it might be an anti-cancer agent."

Marc Drezner, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, evaluated the controversy around vitamin D insufficiency. The condition is considered a growing problem for patients of all ages. "It's well-known to be a huge problem in the elderly, but it's becoming more often recognized as a significant problem in all Americans, even young people with a fair amount of sun exposure," Arnold said.

There was "great general interest in data showing children with lower bone mineral density or who are taller have increased incidence for fractures," said Lawrence Raisz, M.D., of the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. In the first prospective study to look at low bone mass relative to body size in children, a team of researchers led by Emma Clark, of the University of Bristol, U.K., found an 89 percent increase in fracture incidence for every standard deviation decrease in bone density, and a 51 percent increase in fractures per standard deviation decrease in bone size relative to body size in children 9.9 years of age.

A team led by John A. Shepherd, Ph.D., University of California San Francisco, reported a prospective study of 1,554 healthy children aged 6 to 16. They found non-black children had more fractures over the three-year study and that age, bone age, Tanner stage, body mass index and sex were not significantly associated with fractures.

In another important study, a single, intravenous injection of a bisphosphonate, zoledronic acid, once-yearly for three years reduced spinal fractures 60 to 70 percent in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. The research led by Dennis Black, Ph.D., of University of California San Francisco, evaluated the efficacy of the Novartis compound. "The big thing here is that compliance is a non-issue," Raisz said, adding there were "some concerns about an increase in heart arrhythmias."

The prospective, controlled, randomized EUROFORS trial compared three sequential treatments of the Eli Lilly drug teriparatide in 706 postmenopausal women with established osteoporosis and found the drug increased bone mineral density after two years. One study led by Richard Eastall, M.D., showed the drug was better than 500 mg/d calcium and 400 to 800 IU/d vitamin D (Ca/D) in increasing lumbar spine bone mineral density after two years.

In another report from the EUROFORS trial, Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch, Ph.D., of Eli Lilly, reported that women treated with teriparatide for 24 months had increases in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine, total hip and femoral neck measurement sites, despite prior anti-resorption treatment and individual response to it.

Both studies found "pretty good results in a large series of patients, no matter what their prior history, and that bone gains can be maintained even when teriparatide is stopped and an anti-resorption drug given," Raisz said.

ASBRM: Drug Curbs Metastasis to Bone in Animal Model

MONDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental drug known as ZK 304709 can prevent the metastasis of breast cancer cells to bone, and curb established breast cancer growth in bone in an animal model, according to data presented at the 28th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Philadelphia. The oral drug, known as a multi-target tumor growth inhibitor, blocks a number of serine/threonine kinases and tyrosine kinases thought to play a role in metastasis.

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ASBMR: Cell Purification Technique Aids Bone Healing

MONDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A mixture of cells derived from bone marrow and processed with new technology to increase the production of stem and early-stage cells may promote healing in difficult-to-treat fractures, according to research presented at the 28th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Philadelphia.

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ASBMR: Vitamin D Content Varies in Farmed, Wild Fish

FRIDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although fish are considered to be a good dietary source of vitamin D, the amount of vitamin D in fish ranges widely and depends on the type of fish and how it's prepared, according to research presented recently at the 28th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Philadelphia. Overall, wild salmon contains more vitamin D than farmed salmon or other farmed fish.

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ASBMR: Experimental Compound Boosts Bone Density

FRIDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental compound that blocks the activity of sclerostin, a protein secreted by osteocytes, seems to generate new bone growth and strengthen existing bone in monkeys, according to research presented at the 28th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Philadelphia.

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ASBMR: Fibrodysplasia Disease Mutations Vary

FRIDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- While the gene mutation that causes fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva was recently discovered, a new study from the same team of researchers suggests that several variations of the mutation can be found in those with atypical presentations, such as severely short fingers and toes. The findings were reported recently at the 28th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Philadelphia.

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ASBMR: Bisphosphonate Damage May Peak in First Year

FRIDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Most skeletal microdamage from bisphosphonate intake may max out in the first 12 months of treatment and may not accumulate over longer dosing, according to the results of an animal study presented at the 28th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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