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Bisphosphonates Helping Oncology Patients with Bone, Calcium Disorders

KEY POINT

In addition to its already-proven effectiveness in treating hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM), pamidronate (Aredia—Novartis) has now been shown to be efficacious in preventing bone loss during treatment of men with prostate cancer. In addition, a third-generation bisphosphonate, zoledronic acid (Zometa—Novartis), has been approved by FDA for treating HCM, and the company is seeking approval of the new medication for treatment of bone metastases.

SOURCES

Smith MR et al. Pamidronate to prevent bone loss during androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2001;345:948–55.

Dawson-Hughes B. Bone loss accompanying medical therapies [editorial]. N Engl J Med. 2001;345:989–91.