(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Use of oral bisphosphonates did not increase risk of esophageal cancer at the population level, according to results of a study presented at the American College of Gastroenterology’s 77th Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.

Oral bisphosphonates, widely used to prevent and treat osteoporosis, can cause erosive esophagitis and delay healing, and some reports indicate chronic use may increase risk of esophageal cancer. However, studies evaluating this relationship are conflicting, prompting a meta-analysis of six observational studies that included 3,570 patients with esophageal cancer, conducted by Saowanee Ngamruengphong, MD, of Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, FL, and colleagues.

Of the six studies, five were performed in Western countries and one in Taiwan. Among patients who used bisphosphonates, the pooled OR for esophageal cancer was 1.02 (95%CI, 0.73–1.42), with no significant heterogeneity between studies (P=0.15).

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“The pooled OR of the case control studies was marginally significant (OR 1.28; 95% CI, 1.01–1.63). Otherwise, we did not find any major changes in direction and magnitude of the summary estimates and p value of heterogeneity,” they concluded.

Abstract (select Oral & Posters, Browse by Number and select Abstract Number P577)