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Topic: Zometa--how long?

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY — A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only or those posting on behalf of a Stage IV patient. There is a separate forum for Stage IV Caregivers/Family in "Support and Community Connections".

Posted on: Oct 27, 2010 03:00AM

cindy3 wrote:

Hi, I have had a year's worth of Zometa, once a month and take Femara daily. I now live in a very small town and have had to see a new (and only) Oncologist who is very under qualified. He says one more year of treatment, but I have no faith in him, which is not good.  This is my second recurrence in as many years. I had a BMT in 1996. Please tell me where you are from.

Thank you, Cindy

Cindy Dx 4/9/1995, DCIS, Stage IV, 3/3 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Posts 1 - 15 (15 total)

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Oct 27, 2010 07:12AM khartoregon wrote:

I've only been on zometa since July and it's the only thing that's been working so far.  No breaks in my bones even though the lesions keep spreading.  I guess it depends on your age (or maybe not), but I was under the impression that there is no stopping zometa.  I'll be on it as long as it keeps working, so it's good that all my major dental work was done years ago before the cancer.  Hey, maybe there is some kind of universal balance in that...

"I am not young enough to know everything." —Oscar Wilde Dx 3/8/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2010 07:38AM lwd wrote:


I've been on Femara and Zometa for 21 months, and in my opinion, they've kept me alive.  I've been told I will be on Zometa as long as it works, and the same for Femara.  I've heard sometimes they will change the dosage to every 2 or 3 months rather than once/month.  The Zometa is keeping my bones strong (a SE of Femara can be osteoporosis, which I had prior to mets), and, I've been told it can also help stop the spread of cancer in the bones.  Right now there is no evidence of cancer, per the PET/CT scan.  I was diagnosed with cancer in my sternum and lung pleura in 2/09.  The recurrence was 12 years after my first BC in '97.

Best wishes,


Lane Dx 2/4/2009, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/7/2009 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/17/2012 Hormonal Therapy 11/7/2012 Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Oct 27, 2010 08:24AM cookie97 wrote:

I just had this conversation with my onc. last Friday, he said that I will stay on the Zometa for the first year and be reevaluated. If there are no signs of the osteonecrosis I will continue for another year and be reevaluated again. And so on and so on. The Zometa has helped me tremendously.

Peace and Love to us all,


Oh yeah I'm in Jacksonville, Florida

Dx 5/6/2010, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2010 08:25AM Lowrider54 wrote:

Although not on Zometa but its cousin Aredia - I will likely be on it as long as the mets is in my bones.  It strengthens the bone and does provide some healing.  It is given with the al's to counter the potential se of decreasing bone density of the al's and it is also given to osteoporosis (pardon the spelling) patients to strengthen the bones.  I anticipate that I will be getting one form or another of the biphosphonates for the duration.  If I should be fortunate to find NED, they may decrease the dosage from monthly to maybe every 3 months.

Wishing you the best...LowRider

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva. Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2010 09:17AM joaniji wrote:

I have been on monthly infusions of Zometa for 21 months and my onc. has not even mentioned cutting back or stopping treatments.  I have switched hormonal meds, from Aromasin to Faslodex due to progression but I continue on Zometa.  I am not sure I understand your onc. - is he saying that without progression he would recommend stopping all treatment after a yr? I sure hope not - my sense is that once stage 4, treatment goes on indefinitely.  I hope that you can use this site to ask questions and that if you are unsure of your onc., you can get a second opinion.  Best, joani

joani Dx 1/1/2009, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2010 09:25AM Lynn1 wrote:

I took Zometa once a month for 5 years.  I recently asked onc if he felt there was a need to continue (given the possible se's from long-term use).  He said that the Zometa stays in your bones a really long time, and that mine probably couldn't get any stronger so I have stopped taking it. I could probably go back on it if I wanted to so we'll see how the scans look next month and decide then.  Hope this helps you some!

~Lynn ER+, HER2- Bone mets: sternum, pelvis, spine, ribs....it's everywhere. Started Afinitor/Femara 10/15/12
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Oct 27, 2010 09:27AM Fitztwins wrote:

I have been on it 2.5 years. Just went from monthly to 6 week infusions.

Enjoy Every Sandwich. Dx 12/12/2004, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/18/2005 Mastectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap Chemotherapy 1/31/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 4/30/2005 Breast, Lymph nodes Targeted Therapy 5/31/2005 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2005 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2008 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 6/30/2008 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 5/4/2010 Tykerb (lapatinib) Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 27, 2010 12:38PM ibcmets wrote:

I've been on Zometa for 16 months.  It's done a great job at healing my bone mets.  I was told I would be on it for life but after 2 or 3 years they would go to 3 or 6 months before next treatment.


6/2009 stage IV diagnosis w bone mets ,Xgeva , 2015 brain mets, liver metastasis
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Oct 27, 2010 04:53PM Maryiz wrote:

I was on Zometa for one and a half years, then went to quarterly.  I was told it was an awesome drug, but am still waiting for it to show  healed lesions.  My body beats to a different drummer.  I will pass on news if anything changes.  Maryiz

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Oct 27, 2010 05:03PM , edited Aug 20, 2013 03:02AM by rkt

I have been on zometa for 2.5 years now - monthly infusions.  I asked my new doctor at my last visit about cutting down frequency - she told me that there was a clinical trial going on right now that is looking about frequency of infusions after someone has had monthly infusions for a year - to see if there is any clinical benefit to continuing to do monthly infusions or if less frequent infusions gave rise to the same end result.  She said that the monthly interval was just an outgrowth of the frequency they had randomly chosen when they did first clinical trials of zometa.  I read somewhere that it stayed in your system a long time (I want to say that the half life was on the order of a year, but can't remember where or when I read that).

Anyway, my doctor told me that as long as I wasn't suffering adverse side effects from zometa, she wanted me to continue to get it monthly until the results of that clinical trial are available.


Becky, Stage IV, bone mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-, diagnosed June 2008, right mastectomy May 2009, 0/13 nodes, pleural effusion May 2011, mets to liver October 2011
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Oct 27, 2010 08:14PM Jill45 wrote:

I am approaching the 18 month mark on Zometa - If my scans in November are stable or better then my onc is recommending we move to  quarterly Zometa. He said that the half live of the drug is very long and that it should not put me at any risk.

Dx 5/19/2009, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2010 08:36PM Mazy1959 wrote:

Hi cindy,

I took Zometa monthly for 3 yrs and now take it every other month which my onc said is normal protocol. Some go to every 3 months after 3 yrs. I am happy to be on it..it has helped me greatly.Hugs, Mazy

Bone marrow mets in 90% of bone marrow. Dx 3/6/2003, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 12/19/2006, ILC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 4/25/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/4/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/9/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel)
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Nov 16, 2010 11:34PM , edited Aug 20, 2013 03:12AM by 74murt79

What is your experience with Femara & Zometa, regarding side effects?  I took them for just about two months and they, combined with my candida albicans, literally wiped me out for nearly 8 months.  AFTER recovering mostly from the wipe-out, started Tamoxifen, have taken it for a year.  But it hasn't stopped mets from spreading.  NOW it is suggested I take TAXOL -- once a week x3, then 1 week off, etc.  I'm leary from what I've researched on it.  I'm 79 and at this age quality of life is more important to me than quality. ANY THOUGHTS FOR ME??  Has anyone taken only Zometa and/or only Femara, or only in combination like I did, and have success with them more than what I've read on previous posts?  Thanks!!  74murt79

74murt79 Dx 4/28/2009, Stage IV
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Nov 18, 2010 01:17PM , edited Aug 20, 2013 03:13AM by AuELX

I've been on Zometa for 5 years now. Every once in a while my creatinine is too high and I require a reduced dosage. My onco thinks that my long-term Zometa has helped keep more bone mets at bay. I've only had a couple new bone mets since my initial diagnosis in Oct 2005. Also, I discovered my Vitamin D was extremely low (vampire level) so I now take 2,000 IUs every day.

10 years and still counting! Dx 10/1/2005, Stage IV, mets, ER+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 10/1/2005 Bone Radiation Therapy 2/1/2008 Bone Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Gemzar (gemcitabine), Navelbine (vinorelbine), Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Chemotherapy CMF Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Nov 18, 2010 06:55PM Honeybear wrote:

I took Zometa for 3 years every 4 weeks.  Then, my onc and me decided to back off so I could have some dental work.  Shortly after that, a clinical trial came a long that required me not to take it anymore.

My onc at home and at MD Anderson say that Zometa keeps on working on the bones long after you stop treating with it.  The MDA doc says most of the breast cancer oncs there do monthly for 2 years, then go to every 3 months or stop.  It's a great medicine either way.  It will be interesting to see the results of the trials they are doing to see if taking it longer really helps.  Good luck!

Dx 8/16/2007, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-