Managing Bone Health in Breast Cancer


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Denosumab and zoledronic acid are the two main therapies available for the prevention of declines in bone health and skeletal-related events for patients with breast cancer, explains moderator Adam M. Brufsky, MD, PhD. Moreover, in addition to the impact of these agents on bone health, they may also improve disease-free survival and overall survival, Brufsky suggests.

A meta-analysis presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium explored the impact of bisphosphonate treatment on recurrence and cause-specific mortality for patients with breast cancer. In this large analysis, treatment with a bisphosphonate was associated with a statistically significant 17% reduction in the risk of death and an overall 3.1% decrease in mortality rates. However, practice is rarely changed by meta-analyses, Hope S. Rugo, MD, states. In general, the primary use for these agents will remain focused on maintaining bone health.

In general, the panelists prefer prescribing denosumab, due to its administration route and efficacy. However, Joyce A. O'Shaughnessy, MD, states that both treatments are equal in terms of their effectiveness.

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