From Our 2008 Archives
Osteoporosis Drug Seems to Shrink Breast Tumors
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THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers continue to test the mettle of breakthrough breast cancer drugs, three decades after tamoxifen changed the medical landscape by drastically reducing the risk of recurrences in women with estrogen receptor-positive tumors.
Encouraging findings on several different drugs were presented Thursday at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas.
The drug is already approved to treat breast cancer that has spread to the bone and, earlier this year, was reported to lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence in pre-menopausal women with early estrogen- or progesterone-positive tumors.
In an analysis of slightly more than 200 women, those who received Zometa in addition to chemotherapy had better results than those receiving chemotherapy alone. After compensating for variables such as estrogen receptor status and treatment duration, residual invasive tumor size was 42.4 millimeters in the chemotherapy alone group, and 28.2 millimeters in the combination group.
"This data suggests that zoledronic acid is doing something more than protecting bone," said study senior author Dr. Robert Coleman, a professor of medical oncology at the University of Sheffield in England. "It's not practice-changing. It's hypothesis-generating, which will lead to the design of new trials to look at this in detail. But this is the first patient-related evidence."
Coleman spoke, along with researchers involved with other trials, at a Thursday teleconference. Other studies showing promise included:
SOURCES: Dec. 11, 2008, teleconference with Robert Coleman, M.D., professor, medical oncology, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom; Stephen Jones, M.D., medical director, U.S. Oncology Research, Houston; Luca Gianni, M.D., director, medical oncology, National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy; Stephen Johnston, Ph.D., consultant, medical oncology, and reader, breast cancer medicine, Royal Marsden Hospital and Foundation, United Kingdom; James Ingle, M.D., director, breast cancer program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Dec. 11, 2008, presentations, CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Texas
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