Zometa Extends Life for Multiple Myeloma Patients in Phase III Trial

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Patients with multiple myeloma now have new hope from the bone drug Zometa, shown in a Phase III clinical drug trial to extend life for those newly diagnosed with the disease. In the study, Zometa (zoledronic acid) not only protected from bone complications, but it was also found to have anti-cancer effects that could also extend to other types of cancerous diseases.

Zometa Extends Life 16 Percent

Compared to clodronate, zoledronic acid extended life 16 percent in the multiple myeloma trial that included almost 2000 patients. Bone complications related to cancer, known as skeletal-related events or SRE’s were reduced by 12 percent. Average follow up was 3.7 years.


“As a hematologist who treats patients with multiple myeloma, the survival benefit demonstrated by Zometa in this study is very encouraging,” said Professor Gareth Morgan, Head of Haemato- oncology at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research, UK and one of the study’s lead investigators. “We have long known that Zometa is effective in the reduction of SREs, but these results suggest that there is a new role for Zometa in the treatment of multiple myeloma that may extend the life of patients battling this disease.”

Even though the drug is approved for preventing bone complications associated with cancer, Hervé Hoppenot, President, Novartis Oncology says, “The findings of this large-scale trial add to the growing body of evidence that supports the potential anticancer effect of Zometa in multiple cancer types.”

Zometa was given to multiple myeloma patients intravenously for 3-4 weeks and compared to clondronate. The drug reduced the number of new bone lesions.

Adjusted improvement in survival was 15 percent, independent of the effect of zoledronic acid on bone complications from cancer. Hoppenot says the results of “encouraging” that Zometa extends lives for multiple myeloma patients and prevented progression of the disease in the Phase III trial. The findings are published in the Lancet

Source: Novartis Press Release