Recommendations for zoledronic acid treatment of patients with bone metastases

James R Berenson
Oncologist 2005, 10 (1): 52-62
The introduction of zoledronic acid, a new-generation bisphosphonate, has greatly extended the use of bisphosphonates in the treatment of patients with bone metastases. On the basis of results from three large, randomized, phase III clinical trials enrolling more than 3,000 patients, zoledronic acid (4 mg via 15-minute infusion) was approved in the United States for the treatment of patients with documented bone metastases from solid tumors in conjunction with standard antineoplastic therapy and patients with multiple myeloma. Zoledronic acid is also approved in Europe for the prevention of skeletal-related events in patients with advanced malignancies involving bone. Current treatment guidelines published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend the use of intravenous bisphosphonates at first radiographic evidence of osteopenia in patients with multiple myeloma or osteolytic bone lesions in patients with breast cancer to significantly reduce the occurrence and delay the onset of skeletal complications. Zoledronic acid has also demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of bone metastases in patients with prostate cancer, lung cancer, and other solid tumors. Bisphosphonate therapy is generally well tolerated but can be associated with increases in serum creatinine. Therefore, monitoring renal function is required for all patients receiving bisphosphonate therapy. Serum creatinine should be monitored before each dose and treatment withheld until any serum creatinine elevations have resolved to baseline levels. Caution should be exercised when treating patients who are receiving other potentially nephrotoxic therapies. With these simple precautions, intravenous bisphosphonate therapy is safe for long-term use and provides durable treatment benefits.

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