Dose-response study of alendronate sodium for the treatment of cancer-associated hypercalcemia

S R Nussbaum, R P Warrell, R Rude, J Glusman, J P Bilezikian, A F Stewart, M Stepanavage, J F Sacco, S D Averbuch, B J Gertz
Journal of Clinical Oncology 1993, 11 (8): 1618-23

PURPOSE: A randomized, double-blind, dose-ranging study of single-dose intravenous (IV) therapy with alendronate sodium (aminohydroxybutylidene bisphosphonate) was performed in patients with cancer-associated hypercalcemia.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with hypercalcemia who had not received antitumor therapy in the preceding 7 days were treated with 48 hours of IV hydration. Patients with persistent hypercalcemia (albumin-corrected serum calcium concentration [CSCC] > or = 11.5 mg/dL) were randomly assigned to receive 2.5, 5, 10, or 15 mg of alendronate infused over 2 hours, or 10 mg of alendronate infused over 24 hours. Fifty-nine patients were treated and 50 patients were assessable for the dose-response relationship.

RESULTS: Normalization of CSCC (< or = 10.5 mg/dL) was achieved in 22%, 82%, 75%, and 90% of assessable patients in the 2.5-, 5-, 10- (2- and 24-hour groups pooled), and 15-mg dose groups, respectively, within 8 days of therapy. Doses > or = 5 mg were significantly superior to the 2.5-mg dose level (P < .05). There was no significant difference in the minimum CSCC achieved between the 2- and 24-hour infusions of the 10-mg dose. Based on an intent-to-treat analysis of all randomized patients, the overall complete response rate was 74% for dose levels greater than 2.5 mg. For assessable patients who responded to > or = 5 mg of alendronate, the estimated median duration of normocalcemia was 10 days (range, 1 to 25). The estimated median time to relapse (CSCC > 11.5 mg/dL) was 15 days from initial treatment and 12 days from initial response, respectively. Adverse events included a transient febrile response in 34% of patients and eight episodes of reversible elevations in serum transaminase levels among treated patients.

CONCLUSION: While a statistically significant dose-response relationship was not clearly evident at doses greater than 5 mg, single doses of > or = 5 mg alendronate sodium effectively lowered serum calcium concentrations and were well tolerated in the treatment of cancer-associated hypercalcemia.

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