Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treating Bone Loss In Breast Cancer Survivors: Cancer Drugs Aren't The Only Culprits

Date:
September 21, 2009
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Osteoporosis is a growing concern among breast cancer survivors and their doctors, because certain cancer drugs can cause bone loss. A new study has found that bone loss can be halted with a comprehensive regimen that includes both osteoporosis drugs and treatments that target secondary causes of bone loss.

Osteoporosis is a growing concern among breast cancer survivors and their doctors, because certain cancer drugs can cause bone loss.

Many breast cancer patients also experience secondary causes of bone loss, such as vitamin D deficiency.

But a Loyola University Health System study has found that bone loss can be halted with a comprehensive regimen that includes both osteoporosis drugs and treatments that target secondary causes of bone loss.

The study by Dr. Pauline Camacho and colleagues was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

"Doctors evaluating breast cancer patients for possible bone loss should look further than cancer drugs," Camacho said.

Primary causes of osteoporosis are menopause and aging. Secondary causes are diseases or conditions that exacerbate bone loss.

A class of breast cancer drugs called aromatase inhibitors can decrease bone mineral density and increase the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women. The drugs decrease the body's production of estrogen. While estrogen feeds cancer, the hormone also protects against osteoporosis. In certain breast cancer patients, bone loss from cancer drugs can be treated with osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates, such as alendronate sodium (Fosamax®) and ibandronate sodium (Boniva®).

Camacho and colleagues reviewed charts of 81 consecutive breast cancer patients who were referred to Loyola's Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Center for treatment or prevention of osteoporosis. Fifty-one patients had secondary causes of bone loss, including Vitamin D deficiency (65 percent), excessive calcium excretion in urine (16 percent) and an overactive parathyroid gland (13 percent). Thirty patients did not have secondary causes of bone loss.

Each group received similar treatment with osteoporosis drugs. Women with secondary bone loss also received additional treatments. For example, vitamin D deficiency was treated with prescription doses of vitamin D supplements. Excessive calcium excretion was treated with a "water pill" that's also used to treat high blood pressure. There were various treatments for parathyroid gland disorder, depending on the cause.

After one year, the breast cancer patients with secondary causes of bone loss had stable bone mineral density in their spines and necks. Bone mineral density improved in the group of breast cancer patients who did not have secondary causes of bone loss. (Bone mineral density -- the amount of calcium and other minerals packed into a segment of bone -- predicts osteoporosis.)

Camacho said the study demonstrates that bone loss "can be prevented in women undergoing hormonal therapy if secondary causes of bone loss are corrected and bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs are appropriately used." Camacho is an associate professor of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and director of Loyola's Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Center.

Camacho's co-authors are Dr. Kathy Albain, Dr. Patricia Robinson and Stritch medical student Naseem Helo. Albain is a professor and Robinson is an assistant professor at Stritch. Both are in the department of medicine, division of hematology/oncology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Treating Bone Loss In Breast Cancer Survivors: Cancer Drugs Aren't The Only Culprits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915100939.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2009, September 21). Treating Bone Loss In Breast Cancer Survivors: Cancer Drugs Aren't The Only Culprits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915100939.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Treating Bone Loss In Breast Cancer Survivors: Cancer Drugs Aren't The Only Culprits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915100939.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) — Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins