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Oral Bisphosphonates and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-Analysis

Yang, Guorong MS*; Hu, Huabin MS; Zeng, Ruolan MS*; Huang, Junhui MD*

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: October 2013 - Volume 47 - Issue 9 - p 741–748
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31829e446b
Clinical Reviews

Aim: To conduct a meta-analysis on the relationship between the usage of bisphosphonates and the risk of colorectal cancer.

Methods: We searched PUBMED and EMBASE for studies assessing colorectal cancer incidence or prevalence in bisphosphonate users versus nonusers that were published before August 2012. We used the STATA software to calculate the pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for the risk of colorectal cancer associated with exposure to bisphosphonates using a random-effects model.

Results: Eight studies met our inclusion criteria, which comprised 5 cohort studies and 3 case-control studies, with a total of 22,291 colorectal cancer cases. The usage of bisphosphonates was associated with a statistically significant decrease in colorectal cancer risk, with a pooled OR of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.80-0.99). A statistically significant decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer was observed in the long-term exposure groups (pooled OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.57-0.93).

Conclusions: These results indicate that the decrease in risk of colorectal cancer may be associated with the usage of bisphosphonates. More studies are needed to confirm the relationship.

*Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha

Department of Medical Oncology, The Sixth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, P.R. China

G.Y. and H.H. contributed equally.

G.Y. and H.H.: drafted and revised the manuscript, and contributed to the study design, analysis, and interpretation of the data. R.Z.: contributed to the data analysis and revised the manuscript. J.H.: contributed to the study design, the interpretation of the results, and the conception of the study.

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Junhui Huang, MD, Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, No.87 Xiangya Road, Changsha 410008, P.R. China (e-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins