Osteoporosis Drugs May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Two studies show promise for commonly used biophosphonates
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2009 7:35 AM CST
Biophosphonates, used to strengthen bones, may help cut the risk of breast cancer.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Two new studies suggest that drugs used to improve bone density cut women's risk of breast cancer. In both studies, one of which analyzed data from the huge Women's Health Initiative, those who used biophosphonates seemed to have a 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer. The research isn't definitive, but the striking results presented a breast cancer symposium yesterday mean that more thorough studies will follow.

Biophosphonates are commonly used to treat osteoporosis, with about 45 million prescriptions filled annually, reports the Wall Street Journal. "It has immense potential," said one of the lead scientists, adding that the if the results hold, the drugs would theoretically work on other kinds of tumors as well.