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Zoledronic acid 'improves bone density in cancer patients'

Zoledronic acid 'improves bone density in cancer patients'
10th October 2011

Bone damaging side effects associated with certain breast cancer treatments may be preventable, according to a new study.

Research at the University of Pittsburgh has shown that patients who take zoledronic acid alongside anti-cancer medications maintain bone health during treatment.

"This study shows that bone loss from aromatase inhibitors can be prevented long term with a safe and effective drug that prevents osteoporosis," stated Dr Adam Brufsky, author of the study.

The research monitored women taking zoledronic acid over a period of five years and observed significant and progressive increases in bone density in women who took the drug at the start of the treatment.

However, a 2008 study found that cancer drugs were not the only contributing factor to bone damage in breast cancer patients.

Among 64 subjects referred to a bone clinic, 78 per cent had at least one other cause of bone loss.

Common causes were vitamin D deficiency, excessive calcium excretion in urine and an overactive parathyroid gland.

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