Bone drug Zometa flops in breast cancer study

December 9, 2010 By MARILYNN MARCHIONE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- Doctors are reporting a stunning setback for a promising new approach for fighting breast cancer.

A large study found that the bone-building drug Zometa (zow-MAY-tuh) did not prevent the return of cancer or improve survival in women with early or mid-stage disease.

Zometa did seem to help women at least five years past or over 60. The drug's maker, Novartis AG, is considering further tests in those women. Studies also are testing similar drugs, bisphosphonates like Fosamax and Boniva, to see if they help prevent .

Zometa is currently used to treat cancer that has already spread to the bone. The new study will not change that or affect the use of other similar drugs for .

Explore further: Breast cancer study halted

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