Oral ibandronate is as active as intravenous zoledronic acid for reducing bone turnover markers in women with breast cancer and bone metastases

J-J Body, M Lichinitser, S Tjulandin, P Garnero, B Bergström
Annals of Oncology: Official Journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology 2007, 18 (7): 1165-71

BACKGROUND: Phase III study comparing the effect of oral ibandronate and intravenous zoledronic acid on bone markers.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Breast cancer patients with bone metastases received ibandronate 50 mg/day (n = 137) or zoledronic acid 4 mg every 4 weeks (n = 138) for 12 weeks. The primary end point was mean percentage change in serum levels of cross-linked C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (S-CTX) at week 12. Urinary CTX (U-CTX), bone alkaline phosphatase (ALP), amino-terminal procollagen propeptide of type I collagen (PINP) and osteocalcin (OC) were also measured and bone pain and safety assessed.

RESULTS: Both bisphosphonates significantly reduced S-CTX (mean ibandronate 76% +/- 29 (SD) versus mean zoledronic acid 73% +/- 47; P < 0.001 for both versus baseline) and U-CTX (ibandronate 78% +/- 50 versus zoledronic acid 86% +/- 17; P < 0.001). The difference in S-CTX between treatments was 0.6% (confidence interval -1.7% to 3.0%), which was within the prespecified noninferiority margin. Bone ALP, PINP and OC decreased by 26%-47% compared with baseline with both bisphosphonates. Compared with zoledronic acid, ibandronate patients reported fewer adverse events overall (65.0% versus 75.9%), and on days 1-3 (8.0% versus 47.5%), including less pyrexia (overall incidence 0% versus 16.8%) and bone pain (5.8% versus 12.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Oral ibandronate was well tolerated and statistically noninferior to zoledronic acid for percentage change in the bone resorption marker, S-CTX.

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