Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bone-strengthening drug gives pain relief in prostate cancer bone metastases, study finds

Date:
September 25, 2011
Source:
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Summary:
Many prostate cancer patients develop bone metastases, and controlling the pain these cause can be difficult. Now the first large randomized Phase III trial of a bisphosphonate drug in these patients has shown that a single dose of the drug is as good for pain relief as single dose radiotherapy, the standard treatment for bone metastases.

Many prostate cancer patients develop bone metastases, and controlling the pain these cause can be difficult. Now the first large randomised Phase III trial of a bisphosphonate drug in these patients has shown that a single dose of the drug is as good for pain relief as single dose radiotherapy, the standard treatment for bone metastases. Results of the trial were presented at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress.

Professor Peter Hoskin, consultant clinical oncologist at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, UK, and Professor of Clinical Oncology at University College, London, and colleagues, randomised 470 patients with primary prostate cancer and painful bone metastases to receive either a single dose of radiation or a single intravenous infusion of the bisphosphonate ibandronate (IB). Patients reported their primary site of pain at entry into the trial, and then at four, eight, twelve, 26 and 52 weeks after treatment.

Those who had not responded to the first treatment at four weeks crossed over to the alternative therapy and received their second treatment no later than week eight. Pain levels were measured at four and twelve weeks by examining analgesic use, using a combination of scoring via the WHO pain ladder [2] and the Mercadante method, which defines analgesic use in morphine equivalents.

"We found that using IB was as good as single dose radiotherapy in controlling pain," said Prof Hoskin. "Although there were more patients in the IB group with worse Mercadante scores at four weeks who needed re-treatment, at six and twelve months there was no long-term difference in pain relief between the two groups."

Side effects were few; short-lived nausea and stomach upsets if radiotherapy passes through the abdomen and flu-like symptoms with IB. The patients in the trial were well balanced as to age, site of pain, prior treatment and performance status. The median survival of the four groups was 11.8 months (radiotherapy only), 11.4 months (IB only), 12.7 months (radiotherapy then IB), and 16.8 months (IB then radiotherapy).

"We hope to analyse these survival differences further in the hope that it can give us further pointers as to how and whether we should use a combination of treatments," Prof Hoskin said. "Currently we are unsure about the optimal timing and scheduling of treatment for these patients."

The constant turnover of bone is kept in balance by the interaction of osteoblasts, which form bone, and osteoclasts, which beak it down. Bisphosphonates work by sticking to calcium and binding to it, thus preventing bone loss through inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts.

Bone metastases are common in many primary cancers. "They are a serious problem for many men with prostate cancer, and can cause intense pain as well as fractures and spinal cord compression," Prof Hoskin said. "But there are also patients who have bone metastases and only mild or moderate pain, which can be readily controlled by analgesics. Others have multiple metastatic sites, but only one causes significant pain. There are many questions still to be answered in this field."

The researchers intend to follow up their work with a study looking at biomarkers for bone resorption. "If we can correlate these markers with response to both radiotherapy and IB we will be able to see whether they can predict which patients would respond best to which treatment," said Prof Hoskin. "Currently we don't know exactly how radiotherapy works in bone metastases -- we just know that it does. We hope to be able to shed more light on this in our follow-up study.

"It is important to stress that radiotherapy still has a crucial role to play and is a highly effective treatment for many cancer patients. For patients with solitary metastases, pathological fracture, where the bone breaks due to weakness, and neurological complications of bone metastases, it remains the treatment of choice. Our research adds to the arsenal of the many effective treatments now available, and we believe that the findings will also be applicable to other primary cancers that can lead to bone metastases, for example breast cancer, where they are very common," he concluded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "Bone-strengthening drug gives pain relief in prostate cancer bone metastases, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925125151.htm>.
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. (2011, September 25). Bone-strengthening drug gives pain relief in prostate cancer bone metastases, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925125151.htm
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "Bone-strengthening drug gives pain relief in prostate cancer bone metastases, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925125151.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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