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.

Related Articles


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 November 26, 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 November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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