Bisphosphonates are medicines that are used in the treatment of myeloma bone disease and are usually used in conjunction with other cancer therapy. Bone disease is common in multiple myeloma, with 85% of patients having bone problems.
Bisphosphonates have been shown to:
• Help slow the advancement of bone disease
• Decrease bone pain
• Reduce fractures
• Improve overall survival (one large study)
Bisphosphonates are also used in the treatment of bone metastases and hypercalcemia of malignancy (increased calcium levels in the blood). They are also used in other cancers where the bone is affected (e.g. breast cancer, prostate cancer).
In addition, bisphosphonates are commonly used to treat osteoporosis (bone thinning) and are used in the treatment of a bone disease called Paget’s disease.