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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Meta-analysis: oral bisphosphonates and the risk of oesophageal cancer

Review published: 2012.

Bibliographic details: Andrici J, Tio M, Eslick GD.  Meta-analysis: oral bisphosphonates and the risk of oesophageal cancer. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2012; 36(8): 708-716. [PubMed: 22966908]


BACKGROUND: Bisphoshonates, which are used in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, have recently been implicated in the development of oesophageal cancer; however, studies report conflicting data.

AIM: To conduct a meta-analysis of studies reporting on the association between bisphosphonates and oesophageal cancer to quantify the relationship.

METHODS: A search was conducted through Medline, PubMed, Embase and Current Contents Connect to 2 August 2012. We calculated pooled odds ratios and 95% CIs using a random effects model for the risk of oesophageal cancer associated with exposure to bisphosphonates, as well as for the different periods of exposure.

RESULTS: Seven studies, with 19 700 oesophageal cancer cases, met our inclusion criteria. We found a positive relationship between exposure to bisphosphonates and oesophageal cancer, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.74 with a 95% CI of 1.19-2.55. Heterogeneity was observed (I(2 ) = 85%, P < 0.001). Publication bias was not present. An increased risk of oesophageal cancer was also found in the group exposed to bisphosphonates for a longer period of time, compared with the group who experienced a shorter period of exposure (OR 2.32; 95% CI 1.57-3.43 vs. OR 1.35; 95% CI 0.77-2.39). An increased risk was associated with exposure to Etidronate (OR 1.58; 95% CI 1.12-2.24), but not to Aledronate.

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to bisphosphonates may be associated with an increased risk of oesophageal cancer. More studies are needed to confirm the relationship.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

PMID: 22966908

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