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Bisphosphonate may boost survival rates in advanced prostate cancer

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Advanced prostate cancer patients who are treated with oral sodium clodronate appear to have improved survival rates, according to results of a British study.

Advanced prostate cancer patients who are treated with oral sodium clodronate appear to have improved survival rates, according to results of a British study.

British researchers evaluated long-term impact of the drug, which is designed to help prevent bone mass loss, in 819 men with advanced and localized prostate cancer.

At 5-year follow-up, study results showed a 30% overall survival rate for men with advanced prostate cancer who received clodronate, compared with 21% in the control group. After 10 years, there was still a 17% survival rate in the clodronate group compared with 9% of controls.

"This is the first long-term clinical trial to show an overall survival benefit conferred by an oral bisphosphonate when given in addition to standard hormone therapy to men with bone metastases who are starting or responding to hormone therapy," said study co-author Malcolm D. Mason, MD, of Cardiff University, the United Kingdom.

No evidence was found of a drug-related effect in men with non-metastatic prostate cancer. Results of the study appeared online in The Lancet Oncology (Aug. 11, 2009).

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