NOVARTIS' ZOMETA SHOWN TO BENEFIT BREAST CANCER PATIENTS

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Researchers from Toronto, Canada, recently reported that in a Phase II trial, the administration of Novartis' Zometa (zoledronic acid) significantly improved pain control in women with progressive bone metastasis from breast cancer who had progression while receiving clodronate or pamidronate.

Researchers conducted a prospective, open-label study to evaluate the use of a second-line bisphosphonate in women with progressive bone metastasis who were already being treated with either clodronate or pamidronate. This study included 31 patients with progressive bone metastasis who were switched from either clodronate or pamidronate to Zometa (three 4 mg infusions every month). No changes in other systemic therapy in the month before or after commencement of study were allowed.

At eight weeks following treatment with Zometa, nearly 42 percent of patients had experienced a statistically significant improvement in pain control. Improvements in bone turnover markers were also noted during that time period. The researchers concluded that second-line bisphosphonate therapy appeared to be a reasonable treatment approach for women with progressive bone metastases who were already being treated with a bisphosphonate.