April is National Cancer Control month, and a new study suggests that the bone strengthing drug Zometa® (zoledronic acid) may reduce the spread of breast cancer within the body.
When tumor cells are released from the primary breast cancer site, they will often travel to the bone marrow. Once the cells are in the marrow, they can then spread to the rest of the body. Chemotherapy treatments can speed up bone cell turnover, which can lead to further spreading of cancer cells in the body.
Zometa® reduces bone lesions associated with chemotherapy treatments. It has been suggested that it can make the bone marrow an undesirable environment for cancer cells.
A recent study, published online in The Lancet Oncology, included 120 women undergoing chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer. Some of the participants were given 4 milligrams of zoledronic acid every 3 weeks for one year beginning with their first dose of chemotherapy, while the control group did not get receive the zoledronic acid.
The researchers found that after one year not only did the zoledronic acid prevent the spread of tumor cells in the bone marrow, but it also prevented chemotherapy related bone loss.