© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) developed evidence-based recommendations for using drugs, called bone-modifying drugs, for advanced breast cancer that has spread to the bone to help prevent bone-related problems. In 2011, this guideline was updated based on results from clinical trials of these drugs, including new information about a possible condition experienced by some people taking bone-modifying drugs. It also includes a new drug, denosumab (Xgeva), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This guide for patients is based on ASCO's most recent recommendations.
- Bone-modifying drugs are used to help to prevent bone problems for people with breast cancer that has spread to the bones.
- The bone-modifying drugs used in the United States for breast cancer that has spread to the bone are pamidronate (Aredia), zoledronic acid (Zometa), and denosumab; talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of each drug.
- Bone-modifying drugs are associated with an uncommon but possibly serious side effect called osteonecrosis of the jaw.