Study: Biphosphonate drugs useful for colorectal cancer prevention as well as treatment

Mar 11, 2011

Breast cancer treatment could have other anti-cancer applications

A type of drug usually used to treat osteoporosis and breast cancer may actually help prevent the colorectal variation of the latter disease from occurring in the first place, according to researchers from Israel's Carmel Medical Center.

In a statistical overview, the researchers said they noticed a significantly reduced risk of colorectal cancer in patients who were already being treated with biphosphonates. Additionally, the difference remained even after they corrected the results for other risk factors like health, family history of cancer, BMI and various levels of other chemicals, according to the group's analysis, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lead researcher Dr. Gad Rennert told HealthDay News that the findings were encouraging.

"These [new] findings are meaningful because they point to a possible protective effect of this class of drugs being relevant to prevention of many different cancers," he said. Experts say this could lead to better life insurance rates through decreased mortality.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute backed Dr. Rennert's study, which culled data from a survey of nearly 1,900 Israeli women who had already gone through menopause, according to HealthDay News.

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