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The role of intravenous zoledronic acid in the management of high-risk prostate cancer

Gilbert, Scott M.; Olsson, Carl A.; Benson, Mitchell C.; McKiernan, James M.

Prostate cancer

Purpose of review There are limited effective therapies that would persuade most urologists actively to screen for and treat patients who have developed asymptomatic bone metastases.

Recent findings Recently published trials regarding new treatment options for patients with high-risk metastatic prostate cancer are now available, which describe the utility of the intravenous bisphosphonate zoledronic acid.

Summary Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men in the United States. Many prostate cancer patients, especially those with aggressive and advanced disease, are at increased risk of developing bone metastases and, subsequently, skeletal-related events. Skeletal-related events may result both from disease and/or treatment of disease, and include bone pain, pathological fractures and spinal cord compressions. Furthermore, bone radiation and surgery to address bone-related pain, prevent pathological fractures and/or spinal cord compression are also considered skeletal-related events. These sequelae of bone metastases are both painful and debilitating, and severely compromise a patient's quality of life.

Squier Urological Clinic, Department of Urology, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence to James M McKiernan, Columbia University, 161 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY, 10032, USA; Tel: +1 212 305-5526, e-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.