Israeli and American researchers reported this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on a new study suggesting that postmenopausal women taking alendronate (Fosamax) were less likely to develop colorectal cancer.
The results are “intriguing,” said Eric Jacobs, the American Cancer Society’s Strategic Director of Pharmacoepidemiology in Reuters Health. However, Jacobs cautioned, a recent large United Kingdom study showed no link between bisphosphonates and colon cancer, but a higher risk of esophageal (throat) cancer. Bone-density drugs are taken by millions of people for osteoporosis and there have been rare but severe side effects including jaw-bone deterioration. Effects of long-term use are not yet known.