Bone-strengthening drug ‘could ease pain in prostate cancer patients’

A new study has found that a bone-strengthening drug could relief pain in prostate cancer patients, who develop bone metastases.

It found that a single dose of the bisphosphonate ibandronate (IB) is as good for pain relief as single dose radiotherapy, the standard treatment for bone metastases.

Professor Peter Hoskin, and Professor of Clinical Oncology at University College, London, and colleagues, randomised 470 patients with primary prostate cancer and painful bone metastases to receive either a single dose of radiation or a single intravenous infusion of IB.

“We found that using IB was as good as single dose radiotherapy in controlling pain,” said Prof Hoskin.

“Although there were more patients in the IB group with worse Mercadante scores at four weeks who needed re-treatment, at six and twelve months there was no long-term difference in pain relief between the two groups,” he stated.

Side effects were few; short-lived nausea and stomach upsets if radiotherapy passes through the abdomen and flu-like symptoms with IB.

The results of the trial were presented at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress.

more recommended stories