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Osteoporosis drug can help breast cancer patients

Osteoporosis drug can help breast cancer patients
19th September 2007

Breast cancer survivors can avoid loss of bone density by taking a drug designed for sufferers of osteoporosis, according to the findings of a new study.

A two-year study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that a weekly dose of risedronate, sold as Actonel, helped to prevent diminishment of bone mass.

"After 24 months, women in the placebo group had significant bone loss in the spine and hip that we didn't see in women taking risedronate. In fact, women taking risedronate had a bone density much higher in the spine and hip than women in the placebo group."

The researchers continued: "We conclude that once weekly doses of risedronate improves bone density and prevents excess bone loss in breast cancer survivors."

They also observed that the greatest bone loss was found in women on aromatase inhibitors.

The study was presented this week at the 29th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.