Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis not associated with reduced breast cancer risk, study suggests

Date:
August 11, 2014
Source:
The JAMA Network Journals
Summary:
An analysis of data from two randomized clinical trials finds that 3-4 years of treatment with bisphosphonates to improve bone density is not linked to reduced risk of invasive postmenopausal breast cancer. Some studies have suggested that bisphosphonates, which are commonly used to treat osteoporosis, may have antitumor and antimetastatic properties. Some observational studies have suggested bisphosphonates may protect women from breast cancer.

An analysis of data from two randomized clinical trials finds that three to four years of treatment with bisphosphonates to improve bone density is not linked to reduced risk of invasive postmenopausal breast cancer.

Related Articles


Some studies have suggested that bisphosphonates, which are commonly used to treat osteoporosis, may have antitumor and antimetastatic properties. Some observational studies have suggested bisphosphonates may protect women from breast cancer.

The authors analyzed the relationship of postmenopausal breast cancer and bisphosphonate use by examining data from two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. The Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT) randomly assigned 6,459 women (ages 55 to 81 years) to alendronate or placebo with an average follow-up of 3.8 years. The Health Outcomes and Reduced Incidence with Zoledronic Acid Once Yearly-Pivotal Fracture Trial (HORIZON-PFT) randomly assigned 7,765 women (ages 65 to 89 years) to annual intravenous zoledronic acid or placebo with an average follow-up of 2.8 years. The authors compared rates of breast cancer in the bisphosphonate treatment groups to the placebo groups.

There was no significant difference in breast cancer rates between the bisphosphonate and placebo groups. In FIT, the breast cancer rate was 1.5 percent in the placebo group and 1.8 percent in the alendronate group. In HORIZON-PFT the rate was 0.8 percent in the placebo group and 0.9 percent in the zoledronic acid group. There also was no significant difference when data from the two trials were combined.

"These data provide evidence that three to four years of treatment with bisphosphonate, alendronate or zoledronic acid, therapy does not reduce the risk of incident breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The discrepancy between our results and the reports of associations in observational studies may be an example of indication bias and illustrates the limitation and hazard of drawing conclusions about treatment effects from observational studies (even those that are very well done) and emphasizes the value of confirming such associations in randomized trials. The effect of bisphosphonate treatment on breast cancer risk in nonosteoporotic populations should be investigated in other randomized trials."

In a related editor's note, Joseph S. Ross, M.D., M.H.S., a JAMA Internal Medicine associate editor, writes: "Whereas these findings highlight why it is so important for new therapies to be evaluated using RCTs (randomized clinical trials), they also reinforce the importance of assessing the methodological rigor of observational studies before interpreting real-world effects."

"Just as we closely scrutinize RCT design, so must we understand the quality and statistical power of the data used for observational studies, how participants were identified, the duration of follow-up, the end points examined, and the analytical strategy used. Observational studies are particularly valuable for clinical situations unlikely to be tested using RCTs, and many provide valid and reliable real-world evidence," Ross continues.

"Thus, whereas we all can remember examples of when RCTs and observational studies differed, less memorable are the even more numerous examples in which results were consistent. In the end, we should be open to all types of evidence and rely on rigorous clinical science to guide practice," Ross concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The JAMA Network Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Trisha F. Hue, Steven R. Cummings, Jane A. Cauley, Douglas C. Bauer, Kristine E. Ensrud, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Dennis M. Black. Effect of Bisphosphonate Use on Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.3634

Cite This Page:

The JAMA Network Journals. "Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis not associated with reduced breast cancer risk, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811170108.htm>.
The JAMA Network Journals. (2014, August 11). Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis not associated with reduced breast cancer risk, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811170108.htm
The JAMA Network Journals. "Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis not associated with reduced breast cancer risk, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811170108.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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:

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