Bisphosphonates with nitrogen appear to lower risk of endometrial cancer

by Bruce Sylvester: Women using bisphosphonates with nitrogen, which are prescribed for osteoporosis and other bone conditions, appear to have half the risk of developing endometrial cancer compared to women who do not use the treatment.

The findings were published online on Dec. 22, 2014 by CANCER, a journal of the American Cancer Society.

Sharon Hensley Alford, PhD, of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan and her team of investigators evaluated data from the (USA) National Cancer Institute’s PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian) Screening Trial, which included questionnaires the use of bone medication.

They limited the analysis to data on bisphosphonates that contain nitrogen, since these are already known to have an anti-carcinogenic effect.

They included 29,254 women in the analysis. After adjusting for age, race, history of hormone therapy use, smoking status, and body mass index, they found that bisphosphonate users were half as likely to develop endometrial cancer when compared to non-users.

“Other studies have shown that bisphosphonates may reduce the risk of certain cancers, but we are the first to show that the risk for endometrial cancer may also be reduced,” said Dr. Alford. “This study suggests that women who need bone strengthening medications and who have increased risk for endometrial cancer may want to choose the nitrogen form of bisphosphonates because this form may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.”