Osteoporosis Drug Shows Benefit for Oral Cancer

Zoledronic acid kills bone-damaging cells, may supplement treatment for oral cancer

(RxWiki News) Researchers have found osteoporosis drug Zometa (zoledronic acid) to be effective against oral cancer, bringing new hope to some patients.

The drug, currently approved for the treatment of osteoporosis, could prove to be a supplemental therapy to standard treatments like chemotherapy for those with certain head and neck cancers. Zoledronic acid halts bone resorption in osteoporosis patients by killing a bone-damaging cell.

Ohio State University scientists tested zoledronic acid on mice and found those treated with zoledronic acid fared better than the ones which were on a placebo treatment.

Osteoporosis is the leading type of bone disease that results in the thinning of bone tissue and significant loss of bone density. It affects some 28 million Americans.

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Review Date: 
December 17, 2010