Pamidronate Is Not Recommended for Bone Pain in Advanced Prostate Cancer
Two phase 3 clinical trials provided results that showed that pamidronate neither relieved bone pain nor prevented bone fractures in men with advanced prostate cancer that had spread to the bones. Previous studies had shown that bisphosphonates inhibit bone breakdown. Pamidronate, a member of the bisphosphonate family, had been shown to stem the loss of bone density in men receiving hormonal therapy for prostate cancer. Researchers studied findings of 2 trials of 378 patients with prostate cancer that had spread to the bones after unsuccessful hormonal therapy. In a doubleblind study, patients received either pamidronate or placebo for 27 weeks. At each treatment session, patients rated their pain on a scale of 0 to 10. At 9 weeks and at 27 weeks, there was no significant difference in pain scores between those patients taking placebo and those taking pamidronate. Based on these findings, William Dahut, MD, chief of the National Cancer Institute's Genitourinary Clinical Research Section, said that pamidronate cannot be recommended for patients with bone metastases of advanced prostate cancer.