Background: Despite neoadjuvant/adjuvant chemotherapy, women with resectable stage II/III breast cancer (BC) have high risk of recurrent disease. Recent data suggest that zoledronic acid (ZOL) therapy concurrent with adjuvant treatments may improve cancer-related outcomes in patients with BC. Methods: Disease-free survival (DFS; secondary end point) and overall survival (OS; tertiary end point) were evaluated in 119 women with stage II/III BC randomised to intravenous ZOL 4 mg every 3 weeks for 1 year or no ZOL (control) starting with the first chemotherapy cycle. Results: At 61.9 months median follow-up, there was no significant difference in recurrence or survival between study arms. However, time to recurrence or death (DFS) was significantly different between subgroups defined by oestrogen receptor (ER) status (interaction P=0.010 for DFS and 0.025 for OS). Hazard ratios (HRs) for disease recurrence and death were significantly less among patients with ER-negative (ER -) tumours who received ZOL vs no ZOL (DFS: HR=0.361, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.148, 0.880; OS: HR=0.375, 95% CI 0.143, 0.985). Conclusion: ZOL administered with chemotherapy may improve DFS and OS in a subset of BC patients with ER tumours. This study was not powered to compare subgroups of patients; thus, these findings should be considered hypothesis generating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 26 2012


  • Bisphosphonate
  • breast cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • hormone receptor
  • neoadjuvant
  • zoledronic acid


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