Clodronate (brand name: Bonefos) is one of a group of medicines called bisphosphonates. Other bisphosphonates include Aredia (chemical name: pamidronate disodium), Fosamax (chemical name: alendronate sodium), and Zometa (chemical name: zolendroic acid).
These medications can be used to help women who have or are at risk for osteoporosis, including women getting hormonal treatment for early breast cancer. Some bisphosphonates also are used to treat women with advanced breast cancer. Women with breast cancer that has spread to the bone can develop high blood calcium levels. Bisphosphonates can lower high calcium levels and can help build bone strength.
Some doctors also think that some bisphosphonates, like clodronate, may:
- slow the growth of bone metastases
- lower the risk of new bone metastases
- improve survival in women with breast cancer
A study looked at these possibilities. The researchers concluded that clodronate does not lower the risk of new bone metastases or improve survival in women with early or advanced breast cancer.
Bisphosphonates can still be an important part of breast cancer treatment plans. It's hoped that the results of larger studies will help us better understand whether bisphosphonates can decrease bone metastases or improve survival in women with breast cancer.
To learn more about bone health and breast cancer, visit the breastcancer.org Bone Health section.