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Topic: Bone drug - seen in a new light for its anti-cancer properties

Forum: Bone Health and Bone Loss —

Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong

Posted on: Nov 6, 2014 07:23AM

cp418 wrote:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141105131947.htm

Bone drug should be seen in a new light for its anti-cancer properties
Researchers have shown why calcium-binding drugs commonly used to treat people with osteoporosis, or with late-stage cancers that have spread to bone, may also benefit patients with tumors outside the skeleton, including breast cancer.

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Nov 6, 2014 09:22AM MomMom wrote:

Wow -thank you for posting. Great timing as I'm getting my first Zometa infusion today which my MO tells me adds 3% against recurrence.

Dx 1/9/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 1/28/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/25/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/6/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 30, 2014 01:20PM Blessings2011 wrote:

I saw my MO last week for my last checkup for a year! Woot! I didn't have chemo or rads, and after a year on Arimidex, and six months on Femara, I quit the AIs completely. Technically, I could go to my PCP or OBGYN for an annual breast exam, but I adore my MO and was pleased when she said she'd see me in a year.

Because I am so "early stage" with such a tiny risk of recurrence, she's o.k. with me quitting the AIs. However, she did point out that the latest research showed that twice-yearly IV infusions of Zometa were proving to be quite effective in reducing recurrence in early stage women.

I asked her, if I were to have a distant recurrence (mets) statistically, where would be the first place it would show up? Bones, she said.

She said that Stave IV women were on Zometa infusions as frequently as every few weeks, and those were the incidences where most of the side effects showed up. She said that with the twice-a-year schedule, SEs were minimal, or non-existant. She knew I'd go home and research this, so she put the order in the computer and said to just let her know.

cp418 - thanks for posting the article. I was just ready to go searching. I'll still do some more, but this is a start.

MomMom - how did your Zometa infusion go? Any side effects? Any advice?


Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/5/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/22/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/5/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 1, 2014 08:22AM Heidihill wrote:

Drink lots of fluids, Blessings.

I wanted to see the film in the article and found this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcBos5h7QtA

The macrophage doesn't seem to be able to swallow that bugger. But it could be killing something...

Dx 8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 1, 2014 08:26AM dlb823 wrote:

I have been dragging my heels (while I finish up some dental work) about getting Xgeva, and this article is very helpful. Thanks, cp for finding and posting it!

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Dec 1, 2014 08:37AM SpecialK wrote:

dlb823 - I get Prolia (denosumab) twice a year and I have been advised to time my dental work at the half-way point between injections, so ask your docs (dentist and MO) about waiting a little bit before the first Xgeva injection to reduce the risks of dental issues.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Dec 1, 2014 08:57AM WinningSoFar wrote:

I'm on Xgeva and when I researched it, I found that it is not a bisphosphonate, which is the subject of this study.

Surgery 6/30/1999 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 7/1999, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 7/29/1999 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 6/30/2000 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 9/26/2011, IBC, Right, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 10/31/2011 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 11/3/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 5/4/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/14/2013 External: Bone Chemotherapy 3/1/2014 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 12/10/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 3/2019, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/15/2019 Verzenio Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 1, 2014 09:41AM - edited Dec 1, 2014 09:44AM by SpecialK

Winning is correct about Xgeva/Prolia (denosumab) not being a bisphosphonate - it is a monoclonal antibody  - as is Herceptin (trastuzumab).  Both Xgeva and Prolia are bone strengthening drugs but they work by a different mechanism.  These drugs work by slowing down the old bone removal process to allow the new bone making process to catch up, whereas bisphosphonates coat the existing bone. Bisphosphanates include Reclast, Boniva, Actonel, Fosamax, and some others - drugs names that end in -nate are in this class of drugs. It was a good idea to point this out to clarify that this is not what was studied in the OP's post.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Dec 1, 2014 07:38PM - edited Dec 1, 2014 07:40PM by dlb823

Thanks for the insight, SpecialK and Winning. I know Xgeva is not a bisphosphonate, but I incorrectly assumed that its mechanism was similar enough to those drugs that this research would also pertain to it. I appreciate the clarification!

Winning, how often do you get Xgeva? And do either of you have any SEs from it? Has your bone density improved since you've been on it? Just curious about your experiences. Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Dec 1, 2014 09:30PM Holeinone wrote:

I had to "convince" my MO to order Zometa. She said no, to begin with. I took articles from last years San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. She then said insurance would not cover it. They did.

I have had 2 infusions. SE were mild, flu like. Stiff & sore, night sweats. Very doable, hope it works....

Spinal mets Surgery 7/22/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/22/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/23/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 3/3/2016, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, 6/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 1, 2014 10:10PM Liwi wrote:

Thank you for posting this. Just prior to my cancer diagnosis I was going to start taking Prolia for osteoporosis. My oncologist said to wait and that once I am finished my chemotherapy and surgery her recommendation is to take Zometa. So it is good to see this information and that others are using Zometa

Dx 9/2014, ILC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/23/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Dx 4/2015, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 3/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/20/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/6/2015 Dx 7/2017, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 8/10/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 8/10/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 8/1/2018, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to other, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy Doxil (doxorubicin)
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Dec 1, 2014 11:31PM Blessings2011 wrote:

Years ago (WAY before BC), my old PCP wanted me to take Fosamax for Osteopenia. I did the research, and said no. My mild case did not justify the possible side effects.

Ten years later, when I had another DEXA prior to taking Arimidex, I found that my condition had stayed exactly the same. No osteoporosis, no worsening of the osteopenia. I figured I'd saved myself a lot of uncomfortableness by not taking the drug.

The MO describes Zometa as Fosamax x 100. She says Zometa is MUCH stronger than the normal oral dosage of Fosamax, which is why women who must have infusions every few weeks generally have the SEs, whereas the women who get it twice a year do not.

I told her if I could plan a weekend twice a year where I could get the infusion, then cross off everything on my calendar to put up with any SEs (I always get them all); it sounded like a good deal to me.

Thanks, Heidihill, for the advice to stay hydrated. That makes total sense. Are you taking the Zometa infusions now? Every few weeks?

I'm trying to get all the information I can before I actually say yes. I was on Arimidex for a year, and Femara for six months, before I had to quit due to some life-threatening SEs. Of course, if it will happen, it usually will happen to me. But I think I can be brave twice a year..... especially since right now that would be my only safety net.

I am so thankful that this information is posted and discussed here on BCO.

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/5/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/22/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/5/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 2, 2014 04:48AM Heidihill wrote:

Blessings, I was receiving it every 3 weeks then every month for a year and continued for 5 years with longer and longer intervals (bimonthly, quarterly, etc.).  Together with exercise, I was actually able to increase my bone density. That may have helped prevent my bone mets from popping up again. And if this article is anywhere near the truth, also liver or other organ mets?

Dx 8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 2, 2014 05:02AM - edited Dec 2, 2014 05:08AM by Heidihill

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-widely-osteoporosis-drugs-breast-lung.html

Another article about bisphosphonates helping against HER cancers (thanks to besa for the link!).

Dx 8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 2, 2014 06:24AM leggo wrote:

I wonder if the benefits truly outweigh the risks.

"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
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Dec 2, 2014 02:18PM MomMom wrote:


Blessings,  The Zometa infusion went great!  I had read to drink lots of water, which I did before & after, so I was up all night peeing:-).  Lol.  I had a mild foot cramp for about 5 minutes at one point afterward, but that was it.  Thankfully, the whole things (30 minute infusion) was easy, with no side effects.

Dx 1/9/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 1/28/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/25/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/6/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Dec 2, 2014 02:33PM WinningSoFar wrote:

Dear dlb,

I receive my Xgeva injection every 4 weeks and have had no side effects at all. I just had a DEXA test and a awaiting the results, but the technician muttered something when I told her I was getting Xgeva. She said she's not supposed to say anything to me, but admitted that she could certainly see the good results of taking Xgeva. I'll report back in when I know how good those results are.

Surgery 6/30/1999 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 7/1999, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 7/29/1999 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 6/30/2000 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 9/26/2011, IBC, Right, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 10/31/2011 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 11/3/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 5/4/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/14/2013 External: Bone Chemotherapy 3/1/2014 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 12/10/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 3/2019, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/15/2019 Verzenio Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 23, 2014 12:51PM - edited Dec 23, 2014 12:52PM by Jenny456

This Post was deleted by Jenny456.
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Dec 23, 2014 12:54PM - edited Dec 23, 2014 12:56PM by Jenny456

last report In Jama journal of medicineOctober 2014 show zometa not effective for distant recurrence preventative. Any thoughts on this latest article


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Dec 24, 2014 03:48PM MomMom wrote:


Jenny,  I could not find this.  Could you please post?  Thanks

Dx 1/9/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 1/28/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/25/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/6/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes

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