Kenneth J. Pienta, MD | Authors

Use of Bisphosphonates in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer

September 01, 2000

Recently, there has been much controversy over whether patients with prostate cancer should be treated with bisphosphonates not only to decrease pain, but to prevent metastasis.

Pain Management in Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer

November 01, 1999

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American men. The majority of patients with advanced disease have metastatic bone lesions, which are frequently very painful. These lesions tend to respond well to treatment with both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids, although careful dose titration and individualized treatment plans may be needed to achieve maximal analgesia. Opioid side effects are often transient or well controlled with additional medication. Patients with intolerable side effects may experience fewer adverse reactions with a different opioid. Palliative radiation provides pain relief in up to 80% of prostate cancer patients with single or at most a few sites of localized bone pain. Bisphosphonates, powerful inhibitors of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, are promising new agents for the treatment of painful bone lesions in prostate cancer patients. Radioisotopes, which deliver high-dose radiation to bone lesions without significantly affecting normal bone, are highly effective in providing some degree of pain relief in up to 80% of patients with diffuse, painful bone metastases. Also, chemotherapy shows promise in alleviating pain and possibly extending survival in patients with advanced prostate cancer.[ONCOLOGY 13(11):1537-1549, 1999]