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Bisphosphonates Not Associated with Esophageal Cancer

Research from UK reveals that oral bisphosphonates may not be linked to esophageal cancer after all.

Research from UK reveals that oral bisphosphonates may not be linked to esophageal cancer after all. The study, published in JAMA, analyzed medical data from more than 80,000 patients in the United Kingdom and found that use of these drugs was not significantly associated with new cases of esophageal or gastric cancer.

The use of biphosphonates has increased dramatically in recent years in Western population, according the article.

“Esophagitis [inflammation of the esophagus] is a known adverse effect of bisphosphonate use, and recent reports suggest a link between bisphosphonate use and esophageal cancer, but this has not been robustly investigated,” according to the article. “Large studies with appropriate comparison groups, adequate follow-up, robust characterization of bisphosphonate exposure, and information on relevant confounders are required to determine whether bisphosphonates increase esophageal cancer risk.”

In comparing data on patients treated with oral bisphosphonates and a group of patients not treated with the drugs, between 1996 and 2006, the researchers found that no difference in risk of esophageal and gastric cancer existed between the two groups.