Latest research and medical technology has found that new oncology systems and the drugs used to enhance bone health in pre-menopausal women can help breast cancer survivors avoid recurrence of the cancer. The effect of the drug, Zometa, which contains zoledronic acid, has been found to be very profound, almost as good as chemotherapy treatments. The study was undertaken by researchers from the University of Vienna.
This drug has proved doubly beneficial for women suffering from breast cancer. Firstly, zoledronic acid reduces the risk of recurrence of the cancer by 28%. Endocrine treatment and treatment for ovarian function suppression were also simultaneously administered along with zoledronic acid.
The follow up period was staggered into three stages of observation – 48 months, 62 months and 84 months. It was noticed that at the end of seven years, the incidences of recurrences were very few in number. Survival rates among the cancer affected women were higher as well. The best result of the study was that using this drug as a part of cancer treatment did not cause harmful side effects similar to other therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. Toxicity was nil as well.
According to the researchers, the successful results of use of the bone protection drug can lead to new ways of treatment, which are good and beneficial. The researchers also affirmed that the benefits of the treatments will allow doctors to prevent recurrences of the cancer and provide more effective treatment from the initial stages of the disease.
For the study, young pre-menopausal women, 1803 in number, were chosen. The entire trial group had been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. The group was sub-divided into four divisions and each division was either provided one of the four drugs, viz., only tamoxifen, only anastrazole, tamoxifen along with zoledronic acid and anastrazole along with zoledronic acid.
The drug administration period was 36 months. It was found that at the end of 36 months, the disease was largely curtailed in people who took zoledronic acid. Survival rates were much better in these sets. By the end of 84 months, the risk of death reduced by 36%. No harmful side effects were noticed in any of the women. This shows that use of zoledronic is a safe and effective way of treating cancer in pre-menopausal women. The chance of recurrence reduced by 34% in people above the age of 40 and who experienced total blockade of the ovaries. The risk of death in these women reduced by 44%. The study has proved that zoledronic acid has excellent properties that can be very useful in cancer treatment.