Allan Lipton, MD | Authors

Commentary (Lipton): Aromatase Inhibitors and Bone Loss

August 01, 2006

The aromatase inhibitors (AIs) anastrozole (Arimidex), letrozole (Femara), and exemestane (Aromasin) are significantly more effective than the selective estrogen-receptor modulator (SERM) tamoxifen in preventing recurrence in estrogen receptor-positive early breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are likely to replace SERMs as first-line adjuvant therapy for many patients. However, AIs are associated with significantly more osteoporotic fractures and greater bone mineral loss. As antiresorptive agents, oral and intravenous bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), and zoledronic acid (Zometa) have efficacy in preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis, cancer treatment-related bone loss, or skeletal complications of metastatic disease. Clinical practice guidelines recommend baseline and annual follow-up bone density monitoring for all patients initiating AI therapy. Bisphosphonate therapy should be prescribed for patients with osteoporosis (T score < -2.5) and considered on an individual basis for those with osteopenia (T score < -1). Modifiable lifestyle behaviors including adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, weight-bearing exercise, and smoking cessation should be addressed. Adverse events associated with bisphosphonates include gastrointestinal toxicity, renal toxicity, and osteonecrosis of the jaw. These safety concerns should be balanced with the potential of bisphosphonates to minimize or prevent the debilitating effects of AI-associated bone loss in patients with early, hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Gemcitabine/Irinotecan/Celecoxib in Pancreatic Cancer

December 04, 2004

Unresectable pancreatic cancer has few therapeutic options and adismal prognosis. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression is increasedat the RNA and protein levels in most human pancreatic cancers. Thepurpose of this trial was to determine whether the addition of a COX-2inhibitor to chemotherapy was beneficial. To date, 11 patients with inoperablepancreatic cancer have been treated with the combination ofgemcitabine (Gemzar), irinotecan (Camptosar), and celecoxib(Celebrex) at 400 mg orally twice daily. Encouraging pain relief, improvementin performance status, and decreases in CA 19-9 andcarcinoembryonic antigen levels have been observed.

Complications of Androgen Deprivation Therapy: Prevention and Treatment

March 01, 2004

For the past 60 years, the treatmentof advanced prostate cancerhas consisted of deprivingcancer cells of androgens.[1] The keypremise of androgen ablation is thatmost prostate carcinoma cell growthis initially androgen-dependent. Theandrogen receptor expressed by thesecells binds dihydrotestosterone, whichis then transported into the nucleus,leading to a cascade of events thatinduce cellular growth. If androgen isremoved, cellular death ensues via apoptosisof the androgen-sensitive cells.

Commentary (Lipton): The Multidisciplinary Approach to Bone Metastases

June 01, 2003

The most common malignant tumorsfrequently metastasize tothe skeleton. Although bonemetastases occur frequently with nearlyall tumors, some cancers (eg, breastand prostate cancer) have a specialpredilection for the skeleton. Complicationsassociated with skeletal metastasessubstantially erode thepatient’s quality of life. These skeletal-related events (SREs) include spinalcord compression, fracture,surgery, radiation therapy, and hypercalcemia.On average, patients withbone metastases experience three tofour SREs per year (one every 3 to 4months). In addition, they frequentlyhave pain and require narcotics, whicherode their quality of life.

Use of Bisphosphonates in Patients With Metastatic Bone Disease

November 01, 1998

Tumor-induced osteolysis or lytic bone disease is mediated by osteoclast activation. Osteoclasts can be activated directly by products produced by tumors or indirectly through other nonmalignant cells. By reducing

Commentary (Lipton): Current Status of Endocrine Therapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer

September 01, 1995

This year approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Primary surgical treatment plus adjuvant therapy will cure two-thirds of these patients. The remainder, unfortunately, will experience disease recurrence at varying intervals after surgery.