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Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 1;18(17):4841-9. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Bone-related complications and quality of life in advanced breast cancer: results from a randomized phase III trial of denosumab versus zoledronic acid.

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  • 1Complutense University and Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon, Servicio De Oncologia Medica, Madrid, Spain. mmartin@geicam.org



Denosumab was shown to be superior to zoledronic acid in preventing skeletal related events (SRE) in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases in a randomized, double-blind phase III study. We evaluated further results from this study related to skeletal complications and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive subcutaneous denosumab 120 mg (n = 1,026) and intravenous placebo, or intravenous zoledronic acid 4 mg (n = 1,020) and subcutaneous placebo every 4 weeks. Analyses reported here include the proportion of patients with one or multiple on-study SREs, time to first radiation to bone, time to first SRE or hypercalcemia of malignancy, and change in HRQoL (functional assessment of cancer therapy-general).


Fewer patients receiving denosumab than zoledronic acid had an on-study SRE (31% vs. 36%, P = 0.006). The incidence of first radiation to bone was 12% (n = 123) with denosumab versus 16% (n = 162) with zoledronic acid. Denosumab prolonged the time to first radiation to bone by 26% versus zoledronic acid (HR, 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-0.94, P = 0.012) and prolonged the time to first SRE or hypercalcemia of malignancy by 18% (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70-0.95; P = 0.007). Ten percent more patients had a clinically meaningful improvement in HRQoL with denosumab relative to zoledronic acid, regardless of baseline pain levels.


Denosumab was superior to zoledronic acid in reducing bone-related complications of metastatic breast cancer and maintained HRQoL, providing an efficacious, well-tolerated treatment option for patients with bone metastases from breast cancer.

©2012 AACR.

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