zometa and breast cancer bone mets - 1265037

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zometa and breast cancer bone mets - 1265037

I was diagnosed 4 months ago with a tumor in my spine. Only one tumor present. Had radiation and now going to start zometa. I had dental work done that is why I delayed treatment for 3 months. Is that ok? Does it matter if you start later rather than soon? I am also concerned about side effects. I had problems with fosamax in the past and boniva. I was ok on the actenol. Is there a a better alternative?


Dr West
Reply To: zometa and breast cancer bone mets

Zometa (zoledronic acid). is generally an agent worth starting more for longitudinal than acute benefit. It's perfectly appropriate to wait several months after dental work to have it be as safe as it can be.

All of these agents have rather small but real risks of osteonecrosis of the jaw, kidney damage, and/or low blood calcium levels (in the 1-2% range). Zometa was found to be very slightly less active than XGEVA (denosumab) in preventing skeletal complications but is far more expensive, and either would be considered a very appropriate choice for someone with bone metastases from another solid tumor. XGEVA has the advantage of being a subcutaneous injection (under the skin), but again, since XGEVA is far more expensive and not significantly better in most ways, some insurers will cover Zometa but not XGEVA unless a person can't tolerate Zometa.

-Dr. West

Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education