August 28, 2015 – Breast Cancer Prevention


Anchor lead: Can a drug developed to treat osteoporosis prevent breast cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

A class of drugs known as bisphosphonates, originally developed to treat osteoporosis, is increasingly being reported as a way to prevent the spread of breast cancer, a new meta-analysis published in the Lancet, where data from many studies is pooled, concludes.  Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, looks at the study.

Park: They actually took primary data and analyzed it as if it was brand new and used all the patient data.  The outcome seemed that yes, these can prevent breast cancer from recurring in a postmenopausal population. Probably about six or seven years ago there were a couple of studies that suggested that women who were taking bisphosphonate therapies might reduce their risk of even a new breast cancer from coming back.  And so I think with all this data accumulating the overall consensus might actually be enough to push this forward and say these things probably do work.  :30

Park warns that all women should be considered individually to determine whether use of bisphosphonates is right for them. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.