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Osteoporosis medicine lowers breast cancer relapse rate

Photo: APA (dpa) © Photo: APA (dpa)

"The results are spectacular“, said lead investigator Michael Gnant, Head of the University Department of Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna at Vienna’s General Hospital, President of the Austrian Breast & Colorectal Cancer Study Group (ABCSG) and Deputy Head of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC; Medical University of Vienna/Vienna General Hospital). 65 treatment centers throughout Austria with a total of 3,425 postmenopausal breast cancer patients took part in the study.

Several years ago, it was already demonstrated that osteoporosis drugs from the class of bisphosphonates can prevent a good percentage of therapy-related bone atrophy. At the same time, use of these drugs can also reduce the rate of recurrence for mammary carcinoma patients.

A meta-analysis of existing data (“The Lancet“) published by Gnant and other authors in July 2015 after a large scale study clearly demonstrated this additional effect. The frequency of bone fractures was reduced by 50 percent. The bone density enhancing anti-osteoporosis therapy led to a 28 percent reduction in bone metastases and an 18 percent decline in the long-term breast cancer mortality rate.     

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