A well-known drug called pamidronate can markedly reduce severe pain from bone metastases in breast cancer patients, according to researchers from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The drug, whose trade name is Aredia, slows the destruction of bone that is a common and painful complication of some forms of cancer.
Dr. Gabriel N. Hortobagyi and his colleagues at the center studied 382 breast cancer patients, giving half the drug and half a placebo. They reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that the drug delayed the start of bone complications by six months and slowed rising bone pain.