Esophageal Cancer and Bisphosphonates

At the beginning of 2009, Dianne Wysowski of the US Food and Drug Administration summarized 23 reports of esophageal cancer following alendronate use. Wysowski also noted that there had been 31 cases following alendronate use in Europe and Japan and ten cases in which other bisphosphonates had been reported as concomitant or suspect treatment. Median time from exposure to diagnosis had been 2.1 years in the US and 1.3 years in Europe. In the two series, 12 cases with histological information had adenocarcinoma and six had squamous cell carcinoma. Wysowski suggested that oral bisphosphonates should be investigated as a risk factor for esophageal cancer.


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