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How do bisphosphonates work to treat bone metastasis?

ANSWER

This group of drugs works best in cases where metastasis is weakening the bone. You receive bisphosphonates by mouth or IV infusion every 3 to 4 weeks. These drugs help with bone metastasis by:

  • Slowing bone damage and reducing the risk of bone fractures
  • Easing bone pain
  • Reducing high levels of calcium in the blood

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Bone Metastasis Overview;" "Immunotherapy;" and "Possible side effects of radiation therapy."

Dubey, A. The Internet Journal of Pain, Symptom Control and Palliative Care, 2010.

Society of Interventional Radiology: "Nonsurgical Treatments for Metastatic Cancer in Bones."

Catanel, A. Annals of Oncology, 2007.

Napoli, A. RadioGraphics, 2013.

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina: "Corporate Medical Policy: MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound."

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on January 24, 2020

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Bone Metastasis Overview;" "Immunotherapy;" and "Possible side effects of radiation therapy."

Dubey, A. The Internet Journal of Pain, Symptom Control and Palliative Care, 2010.

Society of Interventional Radiology: "Nonsurgical Treatments for Metastatic Cancer in Bones."

Catanel, A. Annals of Oncology, 2007.

Napoli, A. RadioGraphics, 2013.

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina: "Corporate Medical Policy: MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound."

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on January 24, 2020

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What are possible side effects of bisphosphonate therapy for bone metastasis?

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