Bone-loss drugs may reduce colon-cancer risk

February 24, 2011

Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax and Boniva may reduce patients? risk of developing colon cancer, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax and Boniva may reduce patients’ risk of developing colon cancer, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Women who are taking the bone-loss drugs after menopause may have a 59% reduced chance to develop colon cancer. Researchers at the Carmel Medical Center of Clalit Health Services in Haifa, Israel, collected data on nearly 1,900 postmenopausal women who took part in the Molecular Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer study in northern Israel.

Previous studies have found a link between bisphosphonates and breast-cancer risk, but the reduced risk of colon cancer has not been reviewed.

“These [new] findings are meaningful because they point to a possible protective effect of this class of drugs being relevant to prevention of many different cancers,” lead researcher Gad Rennert, MD PhD, told

HealthDay News

. Rennert is chairman of the department of community medicine and epidemiology at Carmel Medical Center.

After consideration of other factors, including family background, lifestyle, and use of aspirins, statins, and hormone replacement, the women on bisphosphonates still had a 59% reduced risk of developing colon cancer. According to Rennert, bisphosphonates are likely to offer a reduced risk because they act in a fashion similar to that of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.