The protective effect of zoledronic acid on bone loss in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer treated with sequential tamoxifen and letrozole: a prospective, randomized, phase II trial. Academic Article uri icon


  • ObjECTIVE: This study reports the efficacy and safety of zoledronic acid (ZOL) in preventing bone loss in postmenopausal patients receiving an aromatase inhibitor (AI) following tamoxifen. Postmenopausal patients with stage I-III hormone receptor-positive breast cancer who received tamoxifen for 2.5-3 years were randomized to receive letrozole (2.5 mg/day) with (n = 47) or without (n = 43) ZOL (4 mg i.v. every 6 months) for 2 years. The primary endpoint was percent change from baseline in lumbar spine (LS) bone mineral density (BMD) up to 60 months. Ninety patients (86 evaluable) with a median age of 59 years (42.9-83.6), 50/86 of whom had previously been treated with chemotherapy, were followed for a median time of 41.4 months. While the control group showed a significant decrease in LS T-score (p = 0.0005), the ZOL group presented an increase over time (p = 0.0143). Change over time in LS T-score was significantly different between groups, favoring ZOL (p < 0.0001 at 24 and 48 months). No fractures, renal dysfunction or osteonecrosis of the jaw were reported. The toxicity profile was similar to those previously reported for each drug. The addition of ZOL to letrozole was safe and efficacious in maintaining LS BMD in postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and who were receiving letrozole following 2.5-3 years of tamoxifen.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011