Treatment options consist of the intravenous bisphosphonates pamidronate and zoledronic acid (Zometa) or, alternatively, the RANK ligand inhibitor denosumab (Xgeva). Denosumab might be preferred over zoledronic acid for patients with renal impairment, as the RANKL inhibitor has been associated with fewer renal adverse events.
“These recommendations are consistent with the previous recommendations, with new information on denosumab,” the guideline authors stated. “Additional modifications were made to some of the recommendations on the basis of recent data to better clarify the indications for treatment, duration of treatment, and associated complications of treatment.”
The panel, chaired by Kenneth Anderson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and Robert A. Kyle, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, updated the ASCO recommendations after examining 35 relevant studies identified by means of a targeted systematic literature review. The review included randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, clinical practice guidelines, and observational studies.
Key recommendations included:
- Initiate bone-modifying therapy for patients with imaging-based evidence of lytic disease and for patients with osteopenia in the absence of lytic disease
- Use bone-targeted agents as adjunctive therapy for controlling pain associated with osteolytic disease and for patients receiving other interventions for existing or impending fractures
- Initiate intravenous bisphosphonates in patients with normal radiographs or osteopenia by bone mineral density measurements
- Do not use bone-modifying agents in patients who have monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, except when osteopenia exists
- Reduce the dose of zoledronic acid in patients who have pre-existing mild or moderate renal impairment
- Consider denosumab as an alternative to zoledronic acid for patients with compromised renal function
- Use serum creatinine monitoring before each dose of a bisphosphonate, in accordance with FDA labeling
- Perform intermittent evaluation of all bisphosphonate-treated patients for presence of albuminuria
The updated guideline also includes a table with the estimated cost of bone-modifying agents. Pamidronate and zoledronic acid had per-dose costs of $30.67 and $53.64, respectively, whereas each dose of denosumab cost $1,995.48. The estimated 1-year costs were $398.71 for pamidronate, $214.56 for zoledronic acid administered every 12 weeks, $697.37 for zoledronic acid every 4 weeks, and $25,9341.24 for denosumab every 4 weeks.