Zoledronic acid is superior to pamidronate for the treatment of bone metastases in breast carcinoma patients with at least one osteolytic lesion

Lee S Rosen, David H Gordon, William Dugan, Pierre Major, Peter D Eisenberg, Louise Provencher, Mary Kaminski, Joe Simeone, John Seaman, Bee-Lian Chen, Robert E Coleman
Cancer 2004 January 1, 100 (1): 36-43

BACKGROUND: Treatment with zoledronic acid (Zol) was compared with a dose of 90 mg of pamidronate (Pam) in breast carcinoma (BC) patients with at least 1 osteolytic lesion based on data from a Phase III, randomized trial.

METHODS: Overall, 1130 patients with breast carcinoma who had all types of bone metastases (osteolytic, mixed, or osteoblastic by radiology) were randomized to receive treatment with either 4 mg of Zol or 8 mg of Zol as a 15-minute infusion or 90 mg of Pam as a 2-hour infusion every 3-4 weeks for 12 months. A skeletal-related event (SRE) was defined as a pathologic fracture, spinal cord compression, radiotherapy, or surgery to bone.

RESULTS: Among all patients with BC, the proportion of those who had an SRE (primary endpoint) was comparable between treatment groups (43% of patients who received 4 mg of Zol vs. 45% of patients who received Pam). Among patients who had breast carcinoma with at least 1 osteolytic lesion (n = 528 patients), the proportion with an SRE was lower in the 4-mg Zol group compared with the Pam group (48% vs. 58%), but this did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.058). The time to first SRE was significantly longer in the 4-mg Zol group compared with the Pam group (median, 310 vs. 174 days; P = 0.013). Moreover, multiple-event analysis demonstrated significant further reductions in the risk of developing SREs over the reduction achieved with Pam (30% in the osteolytic subset [P = 0.010] and 20% for all patients with BC [P = 0.037]).

CONCLUSIONS: The current data indicate that treatment with 4 mg of Zol was more effective than 90 mg of Pam in reducing skeletal complications in a subset of patients with breast carcinoma who had at least 1 osteolytic lesion at study entry.

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