Bone Loss Prevention Drugs Reduce Chance of Colon Cancer?

| by Alex Groberman

According to a new study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology, individuals who take bisphosphonates to prevent bone loss may also reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer by as much as 60 percent.

"These [new] findings are meaningful because they point to a possible protective effect of this class of drugs being relevant to prevention of many different cancers," said lead researcher Dr. Gad Rennert, from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine and chairman of the department of community medicine and epidemiology at the Carmel Medical Center of Clalit Health Services in Haifa, Israel.

"This is [similar] to the effect that we and others have shown for [cholesterol-lowering] statins," he said, noting that "bisphosphonates and statins share the same metabolic pathway."

In order to put together their report, Rennert’s group utilized information on almost 1,900 postmenopausal women in northern Israel. After conducting research, it was found that taking bisphosphonates for at least a year had a correlation with a 59 percent reduction in relative risk for colorectal cancer.

"The magnitude of the reduced risk is less important because this is an association study; however, it is very significant after controlling for a dozen other known risk factors," Rennert said.

Things like family history, background, diet, weight and more were taken into account for this study.

"We also found a similar effect last year with risk of breast cancer, which has already been replicated by three other groups," Rennert added.

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