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New Data Show Zometa® Enhances Impact of Chemotherapy on Reducing Breast Tumor Size

Published: Monday, December 15, 2008
Last Updated: Monday, December 15, 2008
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Adding Zometa to chemotherapy prior to surgery led to an additional 33% reduction in tumor size, resulting in fewer mastectomies.

New data demonstrate that the addition of Zometa® (zoledronic acid) injection to standard chemotherapy before breast cancer surgery reduces the size of breast tumors more effectively than chemotherapy alone in women with early-stage disease.

These neo-adjuvant subset results from the retrospective exploratory analysis of the international AZURE (Adjuvant Zoledronic acid to redUce REcurrence) trial are the first to show the direct effect of Zometa in combination with chemotherapy to help shrink cancerous breast tumors, potentially resulting in less radical surgery for some women. The data were presented at the 31st Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

"These results support a potential anti-tumor benefit of combining Zometa with chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer," said Matthew Winter, MBChB MSc, Clinical Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK, a lead investigator of this subset analysis.

"Adding Zometa to chemotherapy prior to surgery increased tumor shrinkage in this analysis. When breast cancer treatment is given prior to surgery, the goal is to reduce the size of the tumor and in doing so potentially improve breast conservation rates and longer-term outcomes," Winter said.

In the analysis, pre- and postmenopausal women who received Zometa in addition to chemotherapy before surgery experienced a significant 33% reduction in the size of their primary tumor compared with patients who received chemotherapy alone. The proportion of patients requiring mastectomy was higher in the chemotherapy-alone group than in the Zometa group.

"Clinical evidence continues to demonstrate that Zometa may play a role in protecting patients from the return and spread of early-stage breast cancer," said David Epstein, President and CEO, Novartis Oncology. "We are encouraged by these latest results, which show Zometa may help some women avoid mastectomies, and we remain committed to further exploring the benefit of Zometa as an anticancer treatment."

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