Zoledronic acid for breast cancer

16 Sep 2008

Zoledronic acid added to adjuvant endocrine therapy prevents pre-menopausal breast cancer recurrences

One-third of breast cancer recurrences in pre-menopausal women can be prevented by adding zoldronic acid to treatment with endocrine therapy combined with anastrazole or tamoxifen.

The findings, reported for the first time at the 33rd European Society of Medical Oncology congress, Stockholm, show that doctors "can positively impact the fate of our cancer patients by influencing the microenvironment of micro-metastases by relatively simple means," said lead author Prof. Michael Gnant, of the Medical University of Vienna. He added that zoledronic acid had a "well observed safety profile" and the treatment had a "direct anti-tumour action, attacking both seed and soil" - the soil being the supplying surrounding tissue and the seed the tumour cells.

The study results were included in the "Highlights" session of the congress. The findings will be expanded with new data from a multivariate analysis of the variables affecting disease-free and recurrence-free survival, Professor Gnant said.

President of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Martine Piccart, added that the trial could "potentially revolutionise treatment for breast cancer" and was a  "fantastic example of academic research with no backing from pharmaceuticals and no financial interest as zoledronic acid is soon off-patent". She pointed out that trials such as these are extremely hard to fund and should be given more government support.