Radiotherapy plus zoledronate is superior to radiotherapy alone in treating patients with bone metastases from renal cell carcinoma (RCC), new findings suggest.

Toshiki Kijima, MD, and colleagues at the Cancer Institute Hospital, Japanese Foundation of Cancer Research, in Tokyo, retrospectively studied 23 RCC patients with bone metastases, of whom 13 received radiotherapy alone and 10 received radiotherapy in combination with zoledronate.

Six patients in the combination arm vs. only one in the monotherapy arm had a partial response, defined as significant calcifications of osteolytic metastases and/or shrinkage of bone lesions as measured by CT, according to a report in BJU International (2009;103:620-624).

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Only one patient in the dual-therapy group had a skeletal-related event (SRE) compared with 10 in the monotherapy group. Moreover, the median SRE-free survival time was not reached in the combination arm; it was 18.7 months in the monotherapy group.