Drug Prevents Bone Loss in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Zoledronic acid increases bone mineral density in men with hormone-sensitive cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- One-year therapy with zoledronic acid can increase bone mineral density and suppress biomarkers for bone turnover in men with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer and bone metastases, according to a study in the November issue of Urology.

Thomas J. Polascik, M.D., of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues assessed the therapy's efficacy in 202 men and safety in 221 men. Zoledronic acid (4 mg IV) was administered every three weeks for a year to patients with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer that had metastasized to the bone. All subjects were also on androgen-deprivation hormone therapy.

Bone mineral density was measured at the hip and lumbar spine after one year of treatment. Mean increase in bone mineral density at the hip was 3.6% and 7.7% in the spine. There were significant and sustained increases in N-telopeptide and bone alkaline phosphatase, the Duke team reports.

Arthralgia was reported in 20.4% of subjects, nausea in 14%, fatigue in 14% and back pain in 12.2%. Serum creatinine levels dropped 0.3 mg/dL from baseline and adverse effects as a result of renal function decrease were rare.

The authors conclude that zoledronic acid is safe and prevented bone loss, as demonstrated by significant increases in bone mineral density and sustained suppression of biochemical markers of bone turnover.

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