Is the risk of oesophageal cancer increased in users of oral bisphosphonates?
- Green, J., Czanner, G., Reeves, G., Watson, J., Wise, L., Beral, V., 2010. Oral bisphosphonates and risk of cancer of oesophagus, stomach, and colorectum: case-control analysis within a UK primary care cohort. BMJ 341, c4444–c4444.
- 2,954 men and women over 40 years of age with oesophageal cancer, 2,018 with gastric cancer, and 10,641 with colorectal cancer.
- The researchers completed a study of gastrointestinal cancer in the General Practice Research Database.
- The General Practice Research Database is a computerised database containing anonymised patient records for about 6 million people in the United Kingdom registered with a GP.
- The incidence of oesophageal cancer was increased in people with one or more previous prescriptions for oral bisphosphonates compared with those with no such prescriptions.
- Risk of oesophageal cancer was significantly higher for 10 or more prescriptions
- Cancers of the stomach and colorectum were not associated with prescription of bisphosphonate.
- Yes (with confidence); for oesophageal cancer
- Oral bisphosphonates are the recommended first line treatment for primary and secondary prevention of osteoporotic fracture in both men and women in Europe and in North America.
- Osteoporosis is common, especially among postmenopausal women, and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality.
- Prescribing of bisphosphonates is increasing; in the UK, for example, about 3% of women aged over 70 received a prescription for oral bisphosphonates in 2000, rising to 10% in 2005