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Bones are living tissues which are constantly being remodelled (old bone tissue is broken down and removed by cells called osteoclasts - whilst cells called osteoblasts form new bone). Cancer can disrupt the normal balance and speed up the breakdown of bone. This may weaken the bones and release extra calcium from the bones into the blood.

Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs which slow down the breakdown of bones and strengthen bones. They are used to treat a range of medical conditions, including osteoporosis. In relation to cancer they may be used to:

  • relieve bone pain caused by multiple myeloma or bone metastases
  • reduce high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia)
  • help strengthen bone and reduce the risk of fractures caused by cancer and bone metastases

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Information for Patients and the Public
Information for Health Professionals / Researchers
Latest Research Publications (Biphosphonates and Bone Metastases)
Pamidronate (Aredia)
Zoledronic acid (Zometa)
Secondary Bone Cancer (bone metastasis)

Information Patients and the Public (4 links)

Information for Health Professionals / Researchers (4 links)

Latest Research Publications (Biphosphonates and Bone Metastases)

Choi J, Lee EJ, Yang SH, et al.
A prospective Phase II study for the efficacy of radiotherapy in combination with zoledronic acid in treating painful bone metastases from gastrointestinal cancers.
J Radiat Res. 2019; 60(2):242-248 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We investigated the efficacy of combined radiotherapy (RT) and zoledronic acid in treating painful bone metastases from gastrointestinal cancers. Sixty patients were prospectively enrolled between November 2014 and July 2016. The most common primary cancer type was hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, n = 25), followed by colorectal cancer (n = 6). Patients received external beam RT of 30-54 Gy in 10-17 fractions or 20 Gy in 5 fractions for symptomatic bone metastases. On the first day of RT, patients received 4 mg intravenous zoledronic acid, which was repeated monthly for a total of six cycles. The mean pain score before treatment was 6.7, and it decreased to 2.8 at 1 month and 2.1 at 3 months (P < 0.001).The overall pain response rates at 1 and 3 months were 95% and 96%, respectively. Among the 24 patients who underwent magnetic resonance imaging, 71% were responders, with a complete response in 1 patient and partial in 16 patients. Combined treatment significantly decreased levels of macrophage inflammatory protein-1α and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -3 compared with baseline (all P < 0.05). In HCC patients, IL-6 and MMP-9 levels were significantly lower 1 month after treatment (P < 0.05). The mean quality of life (QOL) score improved from 66 to 56 at 1 month (P < 0.001) and 55 at 3 months (P = 0.016). The median survival was 7 months. In conclusion, RT with zoledronic acid decreased bone pain and improved QOL in patients with painful bone metastases from gastrointestinal cancers. Radiographic findings and serum biomarker measurements were closely correlated with therapeutic responses.

Wang T, Zhang L, Han L, et al.
Clinical effect of intravenous infusion of zoledronic acid combined with oral medication of cinobufagin in the treatment of metastatic bone tumors.
Pak J Pharm Sci. 2018; 31(4(Special)):1609-1612 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aim of the study was to observe and analyze the clinical effect of intravenous infusion of zoledronic acid combined with oral medication of cinobufagin in treating metastatic bone tumors. The 120 patients who have been treated in the hospital for metastatic bone tumor from June 2014 to June 2017 were selected as research objects. They were randomly divided into research group and control group, each containing 60. The research group was treated with intravenous infusion of zoledronic acid combined with oral medication of cinobufagin. In the control group, only zoledronic acid intravenous infusion was administered. The overall treatment effect of the two groups was observed. The pain of two groups was evaluated using numerical rating scale (NRS). The results showed that compared with the control group, the research group achieved better clinical effect and had a higher quality of life, and the intergroup difference was of statistical significance, P<0.05. There was no difference in rate of adverse reactions between the two groups, P>0.05, without statistical significance. The combined therapy of intravenous infusion of zoledronic acid and oral medication of cinobufagin can obtain better therapeutic effect in treating metastatic bone tumors.

Seider MJ, Pugh SL, Langer C, et al.
Randomized phase III trial to evaluate radiopharmaceuticals and zoledronic acid in the palliation of osteoblastic metastases from lung, breast, and prostate cancer: report of the NRG Oncology RTOG 0517 trial.
Ann Nucl Med. 2018; 32(8):553-560 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Skeletal-related events (SREs), common sequelae of metastatic cancer, are reduced by bisphosphonates. In this study, it was postulated that radiopharmaceuticals, added to bisphosphonates, could further decrease the incidence of SREs.
METHODS: NRG Oncology RTOG 0517 randomized patients with breast, lung, and prostate cancer and blastic bone metastases to either zoledronic acid (ZA) alone or ZA plus radiopharmaceuticals (Sr-89 or Sm-153). The primary endpoint was time to development of SREs. Secondary objectives included quality of life (QOL), pain control, overall survival (OS), and toxicity.
RESULTS: 261 patients (median age 68; 62% male; 55% prostate, 35% breast, 10% lung) were accrued between July 2006 and February 2011. The study closed early due to a lower than expected rate of SREs. 52 (42%) patients in the ZA arm and 49 (40%) in the radiopharmaceutical arm experienced an SRE. Median time free of SREs was 29.9 and 27.4 months, respectively (p = 0.84). Median OS in the ZA arm and radiopharmaceutical arms was 32.1 and 26.9 months, respectively (p = 0.37). Cox proportional hazards regression model showed that primary disease site (lung) and number of bone metastases (> 2) had a negative impact on OS (p < 0.0001, p = 0.01, respectively). The addition of radiopharmaceuticals to ZA led to a significant reduction in pain at 1 month based on BPI worst score (p = 0.02). No other group differences were noted for QOL or toxicity.
CONCLUSION: The addition of radiopharmaceuticals to bisphosphonates did not alter time to SREs or OS for patients with breast, lung, prostate cancers and blastic bone metastases, although it was associated with significant pain reduction at 1 month.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY: This protocol (RTOG 0517) is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00365105), and may be viewed online at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00365105?term=RTOG+0517&rank=1 .

Abdel-Rahman O
Predictors of skeletal-related events among cancer patients with bone metastases treated with zoledronic acid: a secondary analysis of a randomized study.
Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2018; 17(8):757-761 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The purpose of the current study is to assess the predictors of skeletal-related events (SREs) among advanced cancer patients with bone metastases treated with zoledronic acid within a randomized study.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of patient-level data of advanced cancer patients with bone metastases who were treated with monthly zoledronic acid in the NCT00330759 clinical trial.
RESULTS: A total of 702 patients were included in the current analysis. In univariate logistic regression analysis, higher body mass index (P = 0.034) and lytic nature of bone metastasis (P = 0.008) were found to be predictive of a higher probability of SREs. When the two factors were included in a multivariate logistic regression model, both of them were predictive of the later development of SREs (P value for higher body mass index = 0.015; P value for lytic bone lesions = 0.005).
CONCLUSION: Among advanced cancer patients with bone metastases, lytic nature of metastases, as well as higher body mass index, are associated with a higher probability of SREs.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: this clinical trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov with the number: nct0033.

Raje N, Roodman GD, Willenbacher W, et al.
A cost-effectiveness analysis of denosumab for the prevention of skeletal-related events in patients with multiple myeloma in the United States of America.
J Med Econ. 2018; 21(5):525-536 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: A large, pivotal, phase 3 trial in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) demonstrated that denosumab, compared with zoledronic acid, was non-inferior for the prevention of skeletal-related events (SREs), extended the observed median progression-free survival (PFS) by 10.7 months, and showed significantly less renal toxicity. The cost-effectiveness of denosumab vs zoledronic acid in MM in the US was assessed from societal and payer perspectives.
METHODS: The XGEVA Global Economic Model was developed by integrating data from the phase 3 trial comparing the efficacy of denosumab with zoledronic acid for the prevention of SREs in MM. SRE rates were adjusted to reflect the real-world incidence. The model included utility decrements for SREs, administration, serious adverse events (SAEs), and disease progression. Drug, administration, SRE management, SAEs, and anti-MM treatment costs were based on data from published studies. For the societal perspective, the model additionally included SRE-related direct non-medical costs and indirect costs. The net monetary benefit (NMB) was calculated using a willingness-to-pay threshold of US$150,000. One-way deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted.
RESULTS: From a societal perspective, compared with zoledronic acid, the use of denosumab resulted in an incremental cost of US$26,329 and an incremental quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) of 0.2439, translating into a cost per QALY gained of US$107,939 and a NMB of US$10,259 in favor of denosumab. Results were sensitive to SRE rates and PFS parameters.
LIMITATIONS: Costs were estimated from multiple sources, which varied by tumor type, patient population, country, and other parameters. PFS and overall survival were extrapolated beyond the follow-up of the primary analysis using fitted parametric curves.
CONCLUSION: Denosumab's efficacy in delaying or preventing SREs, potential to improve PFS, and lack of renal toxicity make it a cost-effective option for the prevention of SREs in MM compared with zoledronic acid.

Raje N, Terpos E, Willenbacher W, et al.
Denosumab versus zoledronic acid in bone disease treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: an international, double-blind, double-dummy, randomised, controlled, phase 3 study.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(3):370-381 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Multiple myeloma is characterised by monoclonal paraprotein production and osteolytic lesions, commonly leading to skeletal-related events (spinal cord compression, pathological fracture, or surgery or radiotherapy to affected bone). Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting RANKL, reduces skeletal-related events associated with bone lesions or metastases in patients with advanced solid tumours. This study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of denosumab compared with zoledronic acid for the prevention of skeletal-related events in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.
METHODS: In this international, double-blind, double-dummy, randomised, active-controlled, phase 3 study, patients in 259 centres and 29 countries aged 18 years or older with symptomatic newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who had at least one documented lytic bone lesion were randomly assigned (1:1; centrally, by interactive voice response system using a fixed stratified permuted block randomisation list with a block size of four) to subcutaneous denosumab 120 mg plus intravenous placebo every 4 weeks or intravenous zoledronic acid 4 mg plus subcutaneous placebo every 4 weeks (both groups also received investigators' choice of first-line antimyeloma therapy). Stratification was by intent to undergo autologous transplantation, antimyeloma therapy, International Staging System stage, previous skeletal-related events, and region. The clinical study team and patients were masked to treatment assignments. The primary endpoint was non-inferiority of denosumab to zoledronic acid with respect to time to first skeletal-related event in the full analysis set (all randomly assigned patients). All safety endpoints were analysed in the safety analysis set, which includes all randomly assigned patients who received at least one dose of active study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01345019.
FINDINGS: From May 17, 2012, to March 29, 2016, we enrolled 1718 patients and randomly assigned 859 to each treatment group. The study met the primary endpoint; denosumab was non-inferior to zoledronic acid for time to first skeletal-related event (hazard ratio 0·98, 95% CI 0·85-1·14; p
INTERPRETATION: In patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, denosumab was non-inferior to zoledronic acid for time to skeletal-related events. The results from this study suggest denosumab could be an additional option for the standard of care for patients with multiple myeloma with bone disease.

van Dodewaard-de Jong JM, de Klerk JMH, Bloemendal HJ, et al.
A randomised, phase II study of repeated rhenium-188-HEDP combined with docetaxel and prednisone versus docetaxel and prednisone alone in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) metastatic to bone; the Taxium II trial.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017; 44(8):1319-1327 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Rhenium-188-HEDP is a beta-emitting radiopharmaceutical used for palliation of metastatic bone pain. We investigated whether the addition of rhenium-188-HEDP to docetaxel/prednisone improved efficacy of chemotherapy in patients with CRPC.
METHODS: Patients with progressive CRPC and osteoblastic bone metastases were randomised for first-line docetaxel 75 mg/m
RESULTS: Forty-two patients were randomised for standard treatment and 46 patients for combination therapy. Median number of cycles of docetaxel was 9 in the control group and 8 in the experimental group. Median follow-up was 18.4 months. Two patients from the experimental group did not start treatment after randomisation. In the intention to treat analysis no differences in PFS, survival and PSA became apparent between the two groups. In an exploratory per-protocol analysis median overall survival was significantly longer in the experimental group (33.8 months (95%CI 31.75-35.85)) than in the control group (21.0 months (95%CI 13.61-28.39); p 0.012). Also median PFS in patients with a baseline phosphatase >220U/L was significantly better with combination treatment (9.0 months (95%CI 3.92-14.08) versus 6.2 months (95%CI 3.08-9.32); log rank p 0.005). As expected, thrombocytopenia (grade I/II) was reported more frequently in the experimental group (25% versus 0%).
CONCLUSION: Combined treatment with rhenium-188-HEDP and docetaxel did not prolong PFS in patients with CRPC. The observed survival benefit in the per-protocol analysis warrants further studies in the combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiopharmaceuticals.

Vaishampayan UN, Tehrani OS, Lawhorn-Crews JM, et al.
A Pilot Trial Evaluating Zoledronic Acid Induced Changes in [
Mol Imaging Biol. 2017; 19(6):810-816 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We conducted a pilot trial utilizing [
PROCEDURES: Eligible patients had CRPC with radiographic evidence of BM and creatinine clearance >30 ml/min. Two baseline [
RESULTS: Eleven patients were evaluated, median age was 65 years, five were African-American and six were Caucasian, and median PSA level was 36.3 ng/ml (range 1.0-1209.3). Notably, the range of absolute percent SUVmax changes varied between 0.77 and 54.7, and only nine measurements were greater than one (1.09-2.19). Zoledronic acid did not appreciably change FMAU uptake. No clinical response was noted. Urine N-telopeptide (NTx) was markedly decreased in all patients after zoledronic acid and serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP) registered a modest change. Urine NTx correlated more closely with SUV max than serum BSAP.
CONCLUSIONS: FMAU tracer was able to detect bone metastases in CRPC patients but uptake was highly variable in bony lesions. Zoledronic acid did not produce an appreciable change in scans. Future investigations of FMAU tracer as a marker of early response in CRPC is recommended.

Hortobagyi GN, Van Poznak C, Harker WG, et al.
Continued Treatment Effect of Zoledronic Acid Dosing Every 12 vs 4 Weeks in Women With Breast Cancer Metastatic to Bone: The OPTIMIZE-2 Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA Oncol. 2017; 3(7):906-912 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Importance: Zoledronic acid, a potent bisphosphonate, is commonly administered to patients with bone metastases to reduce the risk of skeletal-related events (SREs). However, there have been concerns regarding its long-term monthly administration.
Objective: To examine whether zoledronic acid every 12 weeks was noninferior to zoledronic acid every 4 weeks in patients with metastatic breast cancer that involved the bone who had previously received a standard dosing regimen of zoledronic acid and/or pamidronate disodium.
Design, Setting, and Participants: OPTIMIZE-2 was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, multicenter phase 3 trial of intention-to-treat (full analysis set), evaluable (per protocol), and safety populations. Patients were randomized (1:1) to receive 4.0 mg of intravenous zoledronic acid every 4 or every 12 weeks with placebo for interim infusions for 1 year. The study was conducted at 102 clinical trial centers in the United States from March 3, 2006, to July 25, 2013. Data analysis was performed from October 7, 2013, to March 24, 2014. The study randomized 416 women (≥18 years old) with bone metastases from breast cancer who previously received 9 or more doses of zoledronic acid and/or pamidronate during the first 10 to 15 months of therapy.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was the proportion of patients with 1 or more SRE on study (SRE rate). The key secondary end points included time to first SRE and skeletal morbidity rate (SMR).
Results: A total of 416 women were randomized: 200 patients received zoledronic acid every 4 weeks (mean [SD] age, 59.2 [11.1] years; 173 were white [86.5%]), 203 patients received zoledronic acid every 12 weeks (mean [SD] age, 58.6 [11.2] years; 178 were white [87.7%]), and 13 patients received placebo (mean [SD] age, 60.8 [12.2] years; 13 were white [100%]). Baseline characteristics were similar in both zoledronic acid treatment arms. After 1 year of follow-up, SREs occurred in 44 patients (22.0%) in the zoledronic acid every 4 weeks group and 47 patients (23.2%) in the zoledronic acid every 12 weeks group (proportional difference of -1.2%; 1-sided 97.5% CI bound of the difference in SRE rate between arms, -9.8%; noninferiority P = .02). The time to first SRE between treatment groups was not statistically significantly different (hazard ratio [HR], 1.06; 95% CI, 0.70-1.60; P = .79). The mean (SD) SMR was 0.46 (1.06) vs 0.50 (1.50) events per year in the every 4 weeks vs every 12 weeks groups (P = .85). The safety profiles of the every 4 weeks and every 12 weeks groups were comparable, with 189 patients (95.5%) in the every 4 weeks group having at least 1 adverse event compared with 189 (93.5%) in the every 12 weeks group.
Conclusions and Relevance: The every 12 weeks regimen of zoledronic acid was noninferior to the every 4 weeks regimen for the proportion of patients experiencing 1 or more SRE. These results may have a substantial influence on current clinical practice for treatment of patients with bone metastasis from breast cancer.
Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00320710.

Velauthapillai N, Barfett J, Jaffer H, et al.
Antioxidants Taken Orally prior to Diagnostic Radiation Exposure Can Prevent DNA Injury.
J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2017; 28(3):406-411 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate efficacy of oral antioxidant treatment given to patients before radiologic procedures in reducing x-ray-induced DNA damage.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a single-center prospective controlled trial, antioxidant treatment with 2 g ascorbate, 1.2 g N-acetylcysteine, 600 mg lipoic acid, and 30 mg beta carotene was given to 5 consecutive participants before undergoing clinically indicated technetium-99m methylene diphosphonate (
RESULTS: There was a significantly higher number of gamma-H2AX foci/cell after ionization radiation in the control group compared with the antioxidant group (P = .009). There was no statistically significant difference in number of gamma-H2AX foci/cell before or after exposure in the antioxidant group; the number of gamma-H2AX foci/cell was statistically significantly higher (P = .009) in the control group after exposure to
CONCLUSIONS: In patients undergoing

Himelstein AL, Foster JC, Khatcheressian JL, et al.
Effect of Longer-Interval vs Standard Dosing of Zoledronic Acid on Skeletal Events in Patients With Bone Metastases: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2017; 317(1):48-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Importance: Zoledronic acid, a third-generation aminobisphosphonate, reduces the incidence of skeletal-related events and pain in patients with bone metastases. The optimal dosing interval for zoledronic acid is uncertain.
Objective: To determine whether zoledronic acid administered every 12 weeks is noninferior to zoledronic acid administered every 4 weeks.
Design, Setting, Participants: Randomized, open-label clinical trial conducted at 269 academic and community sites in the United States. Patients (n = 1822) with metastatic breast cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, or multiple myeloma who had at least 1 site of bone involvement were enrolled between May 2009 and April 2012; follow-up concluded in April 2014.
Interventions: Patients were randomized to receive zoledronic acid administered intravenously every 4 weeks (n = 911) vs every 12 weeks (n = 911) for 2 years.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was the proportion of patients having at least 1 skeletal-related event (defined as clinical fracture, spinal cord compression, radiation to bone, or surgery involving bone) within 2 years after randomization and a between-group absolute difference of 7% as the noninferiority margin. Secondary end points included the proportion of patients with at least 1 skeletal-related event by disease type, pain as assessed by the Brief Pain Inventory (range, 0-10; higher scores indicate worse pain), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (range, 0-4; higher scores indicate worse disability), incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw, kidney dysfunction, skeletal morbidity rate (mean number of skeletal-related events per year), and, in a subset of 553 patients, suppression of bone turnover (assessed by C-terminal telopeptide levels).
Results: Among 1822 patients who were randomized (median age, 65 years; 980 [53.8%] women; 855 with breast cancer, 689 with prostate cancer, and 278 with multiple myeloma), 795 completed the study at 2 years. A total of 260 patients (29.5%) in the zoledronic acid every 4-week dosing group and 253 patients (28.6%) in the every 12-week dosing group experienced at least 1 skeletal-related event within 2 years of randomization (risk difference of -0.3% [1-sided 95% CI, -4% to ∞]; P < .001 for noninferiority). The proportions of skeletal-related events did not differ significantly between the every 4-week dosing group vs the every 12-week dosing group for patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, or multiple myeloma. Pain scores, performance status scores, incidence of jaw osteonecrosis, and kidney dysfunction did not differ significantly between the treatment groups. Skeletal morbidity rates were numerically identical in both groups, but bone turnover was greater (C-terminal telopeptide levels were higher) among patients who received zoledronic acid every 12 weeks.
Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with bone metastases due to breast cancer, prostate cancer, or multiple myeloma, the use of zoledronic acid every 12 weeks compared with the standard dosing interval of every 4 weeks did not result in an increased risk of skeletal events over 2 years. This longer interval may be an acceptable treatment option.
Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00869206.

Thellenberg-Karlsson C, Nyman C, Nilsson S, et al.
Bone-targeted Novel Cytotoxic Polybisphosphonate Conjugate in Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: A Multicenter Phase 1 Study.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6499-6504 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteodex (ODX) is a cytotoxic bone-targeting polybisphosphonate, intended for treatment of bone metastasis from castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The primary objective of this study was to describe the tolerability and toxicity of such treatment by defining its maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and confirmed bone metastasis were assigned to seven infusions of ODX every third week, divided in seven ascending dose cohorts.
RESULTS: No DLT's were observed and as pre-specified, the highest dose administered was defined as MTD. In total, 206 adverse events (AE) were recorded and 13,6% were classified as treatment-related, while none were serious or severe (SAE). No cumulative toxicity and no renal toxicity were recorded.
CONCLUSION: ODX was well tolerated, with few and mild side-effects and with apparent treatment efficacy in the highest dose cohort. Further clinical development is currently in progress.

Pichon B, Campion L, Delpon G, et al.
High-Dose Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy for Noncompressive Vertebral Metastases in Combination With Zoledronate: A Phase 1 Study.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016; 96(4):840-847 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Hypofractionated stereotactic radiation therapy (HSRT) for vertebral metastases gives good results in terms of local control but increases the risk of fracture in the treated volume. Preclinical and clinical studies have shown that zoledronate not only reduces the risk of fracture and stimulates osteoclastic remodeling but also increases the immune response and radiosensitivity. This study aimed to evaluate the tolerability and effectiveness of zoledronate in association with radiation therapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a multicenter phase 1 study that combined HSRT (3 × 9 Gy) and zoledronate in patients with vertebral metastasis (NCT01219790). The principal objective was the absence of spinal cord adverse reactions at 1 year. The secondary objectives were acute tolerability, the presentation of a bone event, local tumor control, pain control, progression-free survival, and overall survival.
RESULTS: Thirty patients (25 male, 5 female), median age 66 years, who were followed up for a median period of 19.2 months, received treatment for 49 vertebral metastases. A grade 3 acute mucosal adverse event occurred in 1 patient during the treatment and in 2 more at 1 month. No late neurologic adverse events were reported at 1 year. The mean pain scores diminished significantly at 1 month (1.35; P=.0125) and 3 months (0.77; P<.0001) compared with pain scores at study entry (2.49). Vertebral collapse in the irradiated zone occurred in 1 (2%) treated vertebra. Control of local disease was achieved in 94% of irradiated patients (3 local recurrences).
CONCLUSION: The combination of zoledronate and HSRT in the treatment of vertebral metastasis is well tolerated and seems to reduce the rate of vertebral collapse, effectively relieve pain, and achieve good local tumor control with no late neurologic adverse effects.

Kamba T, Kamoto T, Maruo S, et al.
A phase III multicenter, randomized, controlled study of combined androgen blockade with versus without zoledronic acid in prostate cancer patients with metastatic bone disease: results of the ZAPCA trial.
Int J Clin Oncol. 2017; 22(1):166-173 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To examine the antitumor activity of zoledronic acid (ZA) combined with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for men with treatment-naive prostate cancer and bone metastasis.
METHODS: We enrolled 227 men with treatment-naive prostate cancer and bone metastasis. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) to receive combined androgen blockade alone (CAB group) or ZA with combined androgen blockade (CZ group). Time to treatment failure (TTTF), time to the first skeletal-related event (TTfSRE), and overall survival (OS) rates were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model. Median follow-up duration was 41.5 months.
RESULTS: Median TTTFs were 12.4 and 9.7 months for the CZ and CAB groups, respectively (HR 0.75; 95 % CI 0.57-1.00; p = 0.051). For men with baseline prostate-specific antigen levels <200 ng/mL, median TTTFs were 23.7 and 9.8 months for the CZ and CAB groups, respectively (HR 0.58; 95 % CI 0.35-0.93; p = 0.023). Median TTfSREs were 64.7 and 45.9 months for the CZ and CAB groups, respectively (HR 0.58; 95 % CI 0.38-0.88; p = 0.009). OS was similar between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS: This study failed to demonstrate that combined use of ZA and ADT significantly prolonged TTTF in men with treatment-naive prostate cancer and bone metastasis. However, it generates a new hypothesis that the combined therapy could delay the development of castration resistance in a subgroup of patients with low baseline prostate-specific antigen values <200 ng/mL. The treatment also significantly prolonged TTfSRE but did not affect OS.

Mücke T, Deppe H, Hein J, et al.
Prevention of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws in patients with prostate cancer treated with zoledronic acid - A prospective study over 6 years.
J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2016; 44(10):1689-1693 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: To explore the preventive effect of a prophylactic oral and maxillofacial treatment to reduce bisphosphonate associated necrosis of the jaws (BRONJ) in metastatic prostate cancer (PC) patients treated with zoledronic acid (4.0 mg i.v./months).
MATERIALS AND METHOD: 253 PC patients with bone metastases were prospectively randomized. All patients received baseline assessments including a dental panoramic tomogram. Group A was monitored and treated where deemed necessary by the patient's dentist and were re-evaluated once a year. In group B patients were monitored and treated where necessary by the authors at 12 week intervals. We compared the incidence rate per year (IR) and incidence proportion (IP) in both cohorts and assessed independent risk factors for BRONJ.
RESULTS: Patients in group A were evaluated 3.2 (range 2-4) vs. 6.8 times (range 4-24) in group B. A significantly higher proportion of dental extractions was performed in group B vs. A (26.7% vs. 22.7%, p = 0.006). A BRONJ was detected with an IP of 23.3% vs. 2.2% in group A vs. B, revealing a 2.59 fold higher relative risk for group A (p = 0.01, 95% CI 0.01-0.56). The IR in group A was 0.073 cases/year while the IR in group B was significantly decreased by 82% to 0.0131 (p < 0.001). Extraction therapy was the only independent risk factor for BRONJ (p < 0.0001; 95% CI 21.22-189.06).
CONCLUSIONS: Preventive oral and maxillofacial treatment before bisphosphonate application combined with 3-monthly dental follow-ups significantly reduces the occurrence and risk of BRONJ in PC patients. Therefore this approach should be implemented in the specific treatment algorithms.

Lange R, Overbeek F, de Klerk JM, et al.
Treatment of painful bone metastases in prostate and breast cancer patients with the therapeutic radiopharmaceutical rhenium-188-HEDP. Clinical benefit in a real-world study.
Nuklearmedizin. 2016; 55(5):188-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Rhenium-188-HEDP ((188)Re-HEDP) is an effective radiopharmaceutical for the palliative treatment of osteoblastic bone metastases. However, only limited data on its routine use are available and its effect on quality of life (QoL) has not been studied. Therefore, we evaluated the clinical benefit of (188)Re-HEDP in routine clinical care.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Prostate or breast cancer patients with painful bone metastases receiving (188)Re-HEDP as a routine clinical procedure were eligible for evaluation. Clinical benefit was assessed in terms of efficacy and toxicity. Pain palliation and QoL were monitored using the visual analogue scale (VAS), corrected for opioid intake, and the EORTC QLQ-C30 Global health status/QoL-scale. Thrombocyte and leukocyte nadirs were used to assess haematological toxicity.
RESULTS: 45 and 47 patients were evaluable for pain palliation and QoL, respectively. After a single injection of (188)Re-HEDP, the overall pain response rate was 69% and mean VAS-scores decreased relevantly and significantly (p < 0.05). Repeated treatment resulted in similar pain response. The overall QoL response rate was 68% and mean Global health status/QoL-scores increased relevantly and significantly. Haematological side effects were mild and transient.
CONCLUSION: The clinically relevant response on pain and quality of life and the limited adverse events prove clinical benefit of treatment with (188)Re-HEDP and support its use in routine clinical care. Its effectiveness appears comparable to that of external beam radiotherapy.

James N, Pirrie S, Pope A, et al.
TRAPEZE: a randomised controlled trial of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chemotherapy with zoledronic acid, strontium-89, or both, in men with bony metastatic castration-refractory prostate cancer.
Health Technol Assess. 2016; 20(53):1-288 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bony metastatic castration-refractory prostate cancer is associated with a poor prognosis and high morbidity. TRAPEZE was a two-by-two factorial randomised controlled trial of zoledronic acid (ZA) and strontium-89 (Sr-89), each combined with docetaxel. All have palliative benefits, are used to control bone symptoms and are used with docetaxel to prolong survival. ZA, approved on the basis of reducing skeletal-related events (SREs), is commonly combined with docetaxel in practice, although evidence of efficacy and cost-effectiveness is lacking. Sr-89, approved for controlling metastatic pain and reducing need for subsequent bone treatments, is generally palliatively used in patients unfit for chemotherapy. Phase II analysis confirmed the safety and feasibility of combining these agents. TRAPEZE aimed to determine the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of each agent.
METHODS: Patients were randomised to receive six cycles of docetaxel plus prednisolone: alone, with ZA, with a single Sr-89 dose after cycle 6, or with both. Primary outcomes were clinical progression-free survival (CPFS: time to pain progression, SRE or death) and cost-effectiveness. Secondary outcomes were SRE-free interval (SREFI), total SREs, overall survival (OS) and quality of life (QoL). Log-rank test and Cox regression modelling were used to determine clinical effectiveness. Cost-effectiveness was assessed from the NHS perspective and expressed as cost per additional quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). An additional analysis was carried out for ZA to reflect the availability of generic ZA.

von Minckwitz G, Rezai M, Tesch H, et al.
Zoledronate for patients with invasive residual disease after anthracyclines-taxane-based chemotherapy for early breast cancer - The Phase III NeoAdjuvant Trial Add-oN (NaTaN) study (GBG 36/ABCSG 29).
Eur J Cancer. 2016; 64:12-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with invasive residual disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) are considered to have chemo-resistant breast cancer. Bisphosphonates are an established treatment for bone metastases and are of potential benefit as adjuvant treatment in early breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients who had invasive tumour residuals (ypT1-4 and/or ypN+) after a minimum of four cycles of anthracycline-taxane-containing NACT were eligible for the NeoAdjuvant Trial Add-oN study. Patients were randomised within 3 years after surgery to receive zoledronate 4 mg i.v. for 5 years versus observation. Zoledronate was given every 4 weeks for the first 6 months, every 3 months for the following 2 years, and every 6 months for the last 2.5 years. Primary objective was disease-free survival.
RESULTS: After a median time of 54.7 months no difference in disease-free survival was observed between the zoledronate and observation groups (hazard ratio [HR] 0.960, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.709-1.30, log rank P=0.789). Various subgroups were examined without identifying a treatment effect of zoledronate. Patients over 55 years of age showed a HR of 0.832 in favour of zoledronate, but the result was not significant (P=0.480). A similar result was obtained for overall survival with a HR of 1.19 (95% CI 0.79-1.79; log rank P=0.408). Zoledronate was well tolerated and no new toxicity signal was identified.
CONCLUSION: Postneoadjuvant treatment with zoledronate does not improve outcome in patients without pathological complete response after neoadjuvant anthracycline-taxane-based chemotherapy for early breast cancer.

Andronis L, Goranitis I, Pirrie S, et al.
Cost-effectiveness of zoledronic acid and strontium-89 as bone protecting treatments in addition to chemotherapy in patients with metastatic castrate-refractory prostate cancer: results from the TRAPEZE trial (ISRCTN 12808747).
BJU Int. 2017; 119(4):522-529 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of adding zoledronic acid or strontium-89 to standard docetaxel chemotherapy for patients with castrate-refractory prostate cancer (CRPC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data on resource use and quality of life for 707 patients collected prospectively in the TRAPEZE 2 × 2 factorial randomised trial (ISRCTN 12808747) were used to assess the cost-effectiveness of i) zoledronic acid versus no zoledronic acid (ZA vs. no ZA), and ii) strontium-89 versus no strontium-89 (Sr89 vs. no Sr89). Costs were estimated from the perspective of the National Health Service in the UK and included expenditures for trial treatments, concomitant medications, and use of related hospital and primary care services. Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) were calculated according to patients' responses to the generic EuroQol EQ-5D-3L instrument, which evaluates health status. Results are expressed as incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.
RESULTS: The per-patient cost for ZA was £12 667, £251 higher than the equivalent cost in the no ZA group. Patients in the ZA group had on average 0.03 QALYs more than their counterparts in no ZA group. The ICER for this comparison was £8 005. Sr89 was associated with a cost of £13 230, £1365 higher than no Sr89, and a gain of 0.08 QALYs compared to no Sr89. The ICER for Sr89 was £16 884. The probabilities of ZA and Sr89 being cost-effective were 0.64 and 0.60, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of bone-targeting treatments to standard chemotherapy led to a small improvement in QALYs for a modest increase in cost (or cost-savings). ZA and Sr89 resulted in ICERs below conventional willingness-to-pay per QALY thresholds, suggesting that their addition to chemotherapy may represent a cost-effective use of resources.

Mitri Z, Nanda R, Blackwell K, et al.
TBCRC-010: Phase I/II Study of Dasatinib in Combination with Zoledronic Acid for the Treatment of Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(23):5706-5712 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Osteoclast-mediated bone resorption through src kinase releases growth factors, sustaining bone metastases. This trial determined the recommended phase II dose (RP2D) and clinical efficacy of the src kinase inhibitor dasatinib combined with zoledronic acid in bone predominant, HER2-negative breast cancer metastases.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A 3+3 lead in phase I design confirmed the RP2D allowing activation of the single-arm, phase II trial. Zoledronic acid was administered intravenously on day 1, and dasatinib was given orally once daily for 28 days each cycle as twice daily administration caused dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). Response was assessed every three cycles. N-telopeptide (NTx) was serially measured.
RESULTS: A total of 25 patients were enrolled. No DLTs were noted at the RP2D of dasatinib = 100 mg/d. Common adverse events were grade 1-2: rash (9/25, 36%), fatigue (9/25, 36%), pain (9/25, 36%), nausea (6/25, 20%). The objective response rate in bone was 5/22 (23%), all partial responses (PR). The clinical benefit rate [PRs + stable disease (SD) ≥ 6 months] in bone was 8/22 (36%). Median time to treatment failure was 2.70 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.84-5.72] in the general cohort, 3.65 months (95% CI, 1.97-7.33) in patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer and 0.70 months (95% CI, 0.30-NA) in those with HR-negative disease. Factors associated with response in bone included lower tumor grade, HR-positive status, and pretreatment high NTx levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Combination therapy was well tolerated and produced responses in bone in patients with HR-positive tumors. Clin Cancer Res; 22(23); 5706-12. ©2016 AACR.

Raje N, Vadhan-Raj S, Willenbacher W, et al.
Evaluating results from the multiple myeloma patient subset treated with denosumab or zoledronic acid in a randomized phase 3 trial.
Blood Cancer J. 2016; 6:e378 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
In a phase 3 trial of denosumab vs zoledronic acid in patients (n=1776) with bone metastases and solid tumors or multiple myeloma, denosumab was superior to zoledronic acid for the primary end point of prevention of skeletal-related events. There was no difference in overall survival between the two groups; however, an ad hoc overall survival analysis in the multiple myeloma subset of patients (n=180) favored zoledronic acid (hazard ratio (HR) 2.26; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.13-4.50; P=0.014). In the present analysis, we found imbalances between the groups with respect to baseline risk characteristics. HRs with two-sided 95% CIs were estimated using the Cox model. After adjustment in a covariate analysis, the CI crossed unity (HR 1.86; 95% CI 0.90-3.84; P=0.0954). Furthermore, we found a higher rate of early withdrawals for the reasons of lost to follow-up and withdrawal of consent in the zoledronic acid group; after accounting for these, the HR was 1.31 (95% CI 0.80-2.15; P=0.278). In conclusion, the survival results in multiple myeloma patients in this trial were confounded and will eventually be resolved by an ongoing phase 3 trial.

Lipton A, Fizazi K, Stopeck AT, et al.
Effect of denosumab versus zoledronic acid in preventing skeletal-related events in patients with bone metastases by baseline characteristics.
Eur J Cancer. 2016; 53:75-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Analyses of phase III trials showed that denosumab was superior to zoledronic acid (ZA) in preventing skeletal-related events (SREs) irrespective of age, history of SREs, or baseline pain status. This analysis assessed the risk of SREs across additional baseline characteristics.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients (N = 5543) from three phase III trials who had breast cancer, prostate cancer, or other solid tumours and one or more bone metastasis were included. Superiority of denosumab versus ZA in reducing risk of first SRE and first and subsequent SREs was assessed in subgroups defined by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS), bone metastasis location, bone metastasis number, visceral metastasis presence/absence, and urinary N-telopeptide (uNTx) level using Cox proportional hazards and Anderson-Gill models. Subgroups except bone metastasis location were also assessed for each solid tumour type.
RESULTS: Compared with ZA, denosumab significantly reduced the risk of first SRE across all subgroups (hazard ratio [HR] ranges: ECOG PS, 0.79-0.84; bone metastasis location, 0.78-0.83; bone metastasis number, 0.78-0.84; visceral metastasis presence/absence, 0.80-0.82; uNTx level, 0.73-0.86) and reduced the risk of first and subsequent SREs in all subgroups (HR ranges: ECOG PS, 0.76-0.83; bone metastasis location, 0.78-0.84; bone metastasis number, 0.79-0.81; visceral metastasis presence/absence, 0.79-0.81; uNTx level, 0.74-0.83). Similar results were observed in subgroups across tumour types.
CONCLUSION: Denosumab was superior to ZA in preventing SREs in patients with bone metastases from advanced cancer, regardless of ECOG PS, bone metastasis number, baseline visceral metastasis presence/absence, and uNTx level.

Jacobs C, Kuchuk I, Bouganim N, et al.
A randomized, double-blind, phase II, exploratory trial evaluating the palliative benefit of either continuing pamidronate or switching to zoledronic acid in patients with high-risk bone metastases from breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016; 155(1):77-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies suggest switching from pamidronate to a more potent bone-targeted agent is associated with biomarker and palliative response in breast cancer patients with bone metastases. Until now, this has not been addressed in a double-blind, randomized trial. Breast cancer patients with high-risk bone metastases, despite >3 months of pamidronate, were randomized to either continue pamidronate or switch to zoledronic acid every 4 weeks for 12 weeks. Primary outcome was the proportion of patients achieving a fall in serum C-telopeptide (sCTx) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included difference in mean sCTx, pain scores, quality of life, toxicity, and skeletal-related events (SREs). Seventy-three patients entered the study; median age 61 years (range 37-87). Proportion of patients achieving a fall in sCTx over the 12-week evaluation period was 26/32 (81 %) with zoledronic acid and 18/29 (62 %) with pamidronate (p = 0.095). Mean decrease in sCTx (mean difference between groups = 50 ng/L, 95 % CI 18-84; p = 0.003) was significantly greater in patients who received zoledronic acid. Quality of life, pain scores, toxicity, and frequency of new SREs were comparable between the two arms. While a switch from pamidronate to zoledronic acid resulted in reduction in mean sCTx, there were no significant differences between the arms for proportion of patients achieving a reduction in sCTx, quality of life, pain scores, toxicity or SREs. Given the lack of palliative improvement, the current data do not support a switching strategy.

von Moos R, Body JJ, Egerdie B, et al.
Pain and analgesic use associated with skeletal-related events in patients with advanced cancer and bone metastases.
Support Care Cancer. 2016; 24(3):1327-37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Bone metastases secondary to solid tumors increase the risk of skeletal-related events (SREs), including the occurrence of pathological fracture (PF), radiation to bone (RB), surgery to bone (SB), and spinal cord compression (SCC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of SREs on patients' pain, analgesic use, and pain interference with daily functioning.
METHODS: Data were combined from patients with solid tumors and bone metastases who received denosumab or zoledronic acid across three identically designed phase 3 trials (N = 5543). Pain severity (worst pain) and pain interference were assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory at baseline and each monthly visit. Analgesic use was quantified using the Analgesic Quantification Algorithm.
RESULTS: The proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain and strong opioid use generally increased in the 6 months preceding an SRE and remained elevated, while they remained relatively consistent over time in patients without an SRE. Regression analysis indicated that all SRE types were significantly associated with an increased risk of progression to moderate/severe pain and strong opioid use. PF, RB, and SCC were associated with significantly greater risk of pain interference overall. Results were similar for pain interference with emotional well-being. All SRE types were associated with significantly greater risk of pain interference with physical function.
CONCLUSIONS: SREs are associated with increased pain and analgesic use in patients with bone metastases. Treatments that prevent SREs may decrease pain and the need for opioid analgesics and reduce the impact of pain on daily functioning.

Hoskin P, Sundar S, Reczko K, et al.
A Multicenter Randomized Trial of Ibandronate Compared With Single-Dose Radiotherapy for Localized Metastatic Bone Pain in Prostate Cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(10) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The radiotherapy or ibandronate (RIB) trial was a randomized multicenter nonblind two-arm trial to compare intravenous ibandronate given as a single infusion with single-dose radiotherapy for metastatic bone pain.
METHODS: Four hundred seventy prostate cancer patients with metastatic bone pain who were suitable for local radiotherapy were randomly assigned to radiotherapy (single dose, 8 Gy) or intravenous infusion of ibandronate (6mg) in a noninferiority trial. Pain was measured using the Brief Pain Inventory at baseline and four, eight, 12, 26, and 52 weeks. Pain response was assessed using World Health Organization (WHO) criteria and the Effective Analgesic Score (EAS); the maximum allowable difference was ±15%. Patients failing to respond at four weeks were offered retreatment with the alternative treatment. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed at baseline and four and 12 weeks. Because the trial was designed with a 5% one-sided test, we provide 90% confidence intervals (two-sided) for differences in pain response.
RESULTS: Overall, pain response was not statistically different at four or 12 weeks (WHO: -3.7%, 90% confidence interval [CI] = -12.4% to 5.0%; and 6.7%, 90% CI = -2.6 to 16.0%, respectively). Corresponding differences using the EAS were -7.5% and -3.5%. However, a more rapid initial response with radiotherapy was observed. There was no overall difference in toxicity, although each treatment had different side effects. QoL was similar at four and 12 weeks. Overall survival was similar between the two groups but was better among patients having retreatment than those who did not.
CONCLUSIONS: A single infusion of ibandronate had outcomes similar to a single dose of radiotherapy for metastatic prostate bone pain. Ibandronate could be considered when radiotherapy is not available.

Luedders DW, Steinhoff J, Thill M, et al.
Lack of difference in acute nephrotoxicity of intravenous bisphosphonates zoledronic acid and ibandronate in women with breast cancer and bone metastases.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(3):1797-802 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: More than 50% of patients with advanced breast cancer develop bone metastases that may lead to multiple complications such as pathological fractures, bone pain or hypercalcaemia. The standard treatment, besides endocrine, targeted-therapy or chemotherapy, is the use of bisphosphonates. However, one of their main adverse side-effects is bisphosphonate-induced nephrotoxicity. The mechanism by which the latter occurs is not well-understood, although emerging evidence suggests that the effect of bisphosphonates on the kidney may differ between agents.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The aim of this evaluation was to compare the renal toxicity of 6 mg ibandronate i.v. versus 4 mg zoledronic acid i.v. over a period of six months in women with breast cancer and bone metastases. A prospective randomized trial was carried out to examine specific kidney and other parameters (α1- and β2-microglobulin, albumin, α2-macroglobulin, IgG and C-reactive protein (CRP) generated from spontaneous urine samples from 17 patients of each group.
RESULTS: We were unable to find any significant difference between the two treatment groups with regard to renal toxicity. All patients, independently of the applied bisphosphonate, experienced only temporary renal dysfunction without any evidence of irreversible damage in terms of acute nephrotoxicity during the study period. α1-Microglobulin, a marker for proximal tubular damage, in particular, was not differently elevated in either group.
CONCLUSION: Both applied bisphosphonates were found to be well-tolerated and safe with regard to renal toxicity during a six-month treatment period in patients with otherwise healthy kidneys having advanced breast cancer and bone metastases.

Wu J, Zheng W, Tan Y, et al.
Zoledronic Acid may reduce intraoperative bleeding in spinal tumors: a prospective cohort study.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:936307 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Between June 2010 and June 2011, 176 patients were divided into 2 groups: a group with spinal metastasis of solid tumors (n = 157) and a group with multiple myeloma (n = 19). Both groups were further divided into 2 subgroups: a group receiving zoledronic acid before surgery and a control group. The zoledronic acid subgroup of the solid tumors group was group A (n = 81), the control subgroup of the solid tumors group was group B (n = 76), the zoledronic acid subgroup of the multiple myeloma group was group C (n = 10), and the control subgroup of the multiple myeloma group was group D (n = 9). The average intraoperative blood loss during spinal surgery was as follows: 1311 ± 691 mL in group A and 1752 ± 740 mL in group B (P = 0.000) and 1994 ± 810 mL in group C and 3134 ± 795 mL in group D (P = 0.000). Patients receiving zoledronic acid before surgery had significantly less intraoperative bleeding than those who did not receive it. Preoperative use of zoledronic acid can effectively reduce intraoperative bleeding during surgery for the treatment of spinal tumors.

Macpherson IR, Bray C, Hopkins C, et al.
Loading dose ibandronate versus standard oral ibandronate in patients with bone metastases from breast cancer.
Clin Breast Cancer. 2015; 15(2):117-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: In this phase II trial, the efficacy and safety of loading-dose I.V. ibandronate in patients with breast cancer with bone metastases were evaluated.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-four patients were randomized to receive a loading dose of 12 mg I.V. ibandronate on day 1 then oral ibandronate 50 mg daily (arm A), or standard oral therapy of 50 mg ibandronate daily from day 1 (arm B). The primary end point was percentage change in serum C-terminal crosslinking telopeptide of type I collagen (S-CTX) from baseline by day 5 of study. Secondary/exploratory end points included percentage change in other bone turnover markers (N-terminal cross-linking telopeptides of type I collagen [NTX], procollagen type I N propeptide, bone alkaline phosphatase) and change in average bone pain score.
RESULTS: There was a significantly greater reduction in S-CTX at day 5 in arm A compared with arm B (median difference, 15.82%; P = .005). There was also a significantly greater reduction in urine NTX/creatinine at day 5 (P = .009) and at the end of weeks 1 to 8 (averaged; P = .006). Average bone pain score was lower in arm A at the end of 8 weeks (P = .012). There were no additional adverse events after administration of 12 mg I.V. loading dose of ibandronate.
CONCLUSION: A 12-mg dose of I.V. ibandronate rapidly reduced markers of bone turnover and can be administered without additional toxicity.

Gierloff M, Reutemann M, Gülses A, et al.
Effects of zoledronate on the radiation-induced collagen breakdown: a prospective randomized clinical trial.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2015; 17(6):454-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A negative side effect of therapeutic irradiation is the radiation-induced bone loss which can lead, in long term, to pathological fractures. Until today, the detailed mechanism is unknown. If osteoclasts would mainly contribute to the pathological bone loss, bisphosphonates could potentially counteract the osteolytic process and possibly help to prevent long-term complications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of zoledronic acid on the early radiation-induced degradation of bone collagen fibrils by monitoring the urinary excretion of hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline under radiotherapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 40 patients with skeletal metastases were assigned for a local radiotherapy and bisphosphonate treatment. The patients were prospectively randomized into two treatment groups: group A (n = 20) received the first zoledronate administration after and group B (n = 20) prior to the radiotherapy. Urine samples were collected from each patient on the first day, in the middle, and on the last day of the radiation therapy. Measurement of the bone metabolites hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann-Whitney U test.
RESULTS: The hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline excretion decreased significantly in the combined bisphosphonate and radiotherapy group (p = 0.02, p = 0.08). No significant change of the hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline excretion was determined in the patients that received solely irradiation.
CONCLUSION: The results indicate the ability of zoledronate to prevent the early radiation-induced bone collagen degradation suggesting that the radiation-induced bone loss is mainly caused by osteoclastic bone resorption rather than by a direct radiation-induced damage.

Nozawa M, Hara I, Matsuyama H, et al.
Significance of baseline bone markers on disease progression and survival in hormone-sensitive prostate cancer with bone metastasis.
World J Urol. 2015; 33(9):1263-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study evaluated the baseline patient characteristics associated with the time to biochemical progression and overall survival in patients who participated in a phase II trial on zoledronic acid combined with the initial androgen-deprivation therapy for treatment-naïve bone-metastatic prostate cancer.
METHODS: Patients received zoledronic acid 4 mg intravenously every 4 weeks for up to 24 months, concomitantly started with bicalutamide 80 mg orally every day and goserelin acetate 10.8 mg subcutaneously every 12 weeks.
RESULTS: A total of 53 Japanese patients were enrolled between July 2008 and April 2010, and 52 patients were evaluable. Median follow-up period was 41.6 months. Updated median time to biochemical progression was 25.9 months (95 % confidence interval 14.5-49.9). Higher serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase was an independent risk factor for time to biochemical progression based on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio 6.51; 95 % confidence interval 2.71-15.62; P < 0.001). Median time to biochemical progression for patients with serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase level higher than 26 μg/L was 12.7 months. Multivariate analysis indicated that higher serum C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen independently increased the risk of death (hazard ratio 9.62; 95 % confidence interval 2.11-43.89; P = 0.003). Median overall survival for patients with serum C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen level higher than 8.0 ng/ml was 31.1 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Baseline bone markers can be useful as predictors for disease progression and survival time in patients with bone metastasis from treatment-naïve prostate cancer treated with upfront zoledronic acid concomitantly started with androgen-deprivation therapy.

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