Pamidronate therapy reduces the risk of vertebral fractures in malignant lymphoma patients receiving chemotherapy, according to Korean researchers.
Dr. Jee Sook Hahn and colleagues, from Yonsei University in Seoul, note that several agents commonly used to treat malignant lymphoma are thought to promote osteoporosis, placing patients at increased risk for vertebral fractures. There is thus an interest in therapies that can reduce this risk.The researchers report in the April 15th issue of the American Journal of Medicine that they assessed the bone-related outcomes of lymphoma patients who were randomized to receive IV pamidronate or placebo at 3-month intervals for 12 months. The patients also received chemotherapy for stage III or IV disease.”We found that vertebral fractures and bone loss are common soon after the initiation of chemotherapy in patients with malignant lymphoma,” the team points out, “probably due to high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, and subsequent hypogonadism.” However, the vertebral fracture rate in the pamidronate group was 4% (1 of 25), significantly lower than the 30% (6 of 20) rate seen in those in the control group (p = 0.01). Moreover, pamidronate therapy was associated with significantly less bone loss at the lumbar spine (p = 0.005).”Pamidronate, or another effective treatment to prevent osteoporosis,” the investigators conclude, “should be considered in all patients receiving chemotherapy for malignant lymphoma.” (Source: Am J Med 2004;116:524-528: Reuters Health: Oncolink: May 2004)