Study: Osteoporosis drug benefits mesothelioma patients

10 Jul 2017 by Sarah Mahan under Research/Treatment

Bone Comparison of Healthy and Osteoporotic Vertibrae edited1 100x100 Study: Osteoporosis drug benefits mesothelioma patientsWhen the creation of new bone is outpaced by removal of the old, a condition called osteoporosis occurs, which causes weak and brittle bones. Researchers at the University of have recently linked the benefits of a drug used to treat and prevent osteoporosis to mesothelioma treatment.

The drug, zoledronic acid, is used to prevent skeletal fractures in patients with certain types of cancers, and, according to Surviving Mesothelioma, researchers found more than a third of mesothelioma patients treated with it saw benefits with no serious side effects. “Zoledronic acid shows modest clinical activity without significant toxicity in patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma,” concludes the study.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of six silicate minerals. It can take decades to develop and can affect the lining of the heart, abdomen or most commonly the lungs, as is the case with pleural mesothelioma. People who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis usually do not respond well to conventional cancer treatments and rarely live longer than two years.

The patients who benefited from treatment with zoledronic acid experienced “a reduction in the size of their mesothelioma tumors or experienced a temporary cessation of tumor growth,” according to the news source. Though it took an average of two months for their tumors to once again grow, the longest progression-free survival was 21 months. “Equally significant was the fact that there were no treatment-related toxicities associated with zoledronic acid treatment. In contrast, standard chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma can produce serious side effects and may even be too caustic for the most fragile patients,” Surviving Mesothelioma notes.

Because the study only included eight men, further research is still needed to determine its large-scale potential.

 

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