Ripamonti, C. I. et al. Decreased occurrence of osteonecrosis of the jaw after implementation of dental preventive measures in solid tumour patients with bone metastases treated with bisphosphonates. The experience of the National Cancer Institute of Milan. Ann. Oncol. 20, 137-145

Palliative Care Unit (Pain Therapy and Rehabilitation), IRCCS Foundation, National Cancer Institute of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Annals of Oncology (Impact Factor: 7.04). 01/2009; 20(1):137-45. DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdn526
Source: PubMed


Screening of the oral cavity and dental care was suggested as mandatory preventive measures of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) in patients receiving bisphosphonates (BPs). We investigated the occurrence of ONJ before and after implementation of dental preventive measures when starting BP therapy.
Since April 2005, 154 consecutive patients treated with BPs (POST-Group) have undergone a baseline mouth assessment (dental visit +/- orthopantomography of the jaws) to detect potential dental conditions and dental care if required. A retrospective review was also conducted of all consecutive cancer patients with bone metastases (PRE-Group) and treated for the first time with BPs from January 1999 to April 2005 in our clinic without receiving any preventive measure. Incidence proportion and incidence rate (IR) were used to estimate the incidence of ONJ.
Among the study population (966 patients; male/female=179/787), 73% had breast cancer. 25% of patients were given zoledronic acid (ZOL), 62% pamidronate (PAM), 8% PAM followed by ZOL and 5% clodronate. ONJ was observed in 28 patients (2.9%); we observed a reduction in the incidence of ONJ from 3.2% to 1.3%, when comparing-pre and post-implementation of preventive measures programme. Considering the patients exposed to ZOL, the performance of a dental examination and the application of preventive measures led to a sustained reduction in ONJ IR (7.8% in the PRE-Group versus 1.7% in the POST-Group; P=0.016), with an IR ratio of 0.30 (95% confidence interval 0.03-1.26).
ONJ is a manageable and preventable condition. Our data confirm that the application of preventive measures can significantly reduce the incidence of ONJ in cancer patients receiving BPs therapy. Dental exams combined to the identification of patients at risk in cooperation with the Dental Team can improve outcomes and increase the number of ONJ-free patients.

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    • "The incidence of jaw osteonecrosis in patients with cancer is reportedly up to fourfold higher than that in the healthy population [36, 37]. Furthermore, empiric improvement of dental hygiene was shown to reduce the incidence of BRONJ in patients with multiple myeloma and metastatic cancer [38, 39]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the association of oral hygiene, dental caries, and periodontal status with bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws. A retrospective case-control study on 81 patients treated for neoplasms with bone metastases. Twenty-nine patients with bone necrosis and 52 controls treated with bisphosphonates were compared using the Oral Hygiene Index, Decay, Missing, Filled Teeth, Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs, and Residual Periodontal Bone. The null hypothesis stated that there was no difference in parameters of oral health between patients with and without bone necrosis. Differences of means of above-mentioned variables were compared between the groups with Student's t-test or Mann-Whitney rank sum test and χ(2) test. Value of p ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Poorer oral hygiene (OHIs 1.94 vs. 1.32; p = 0.065), more advanced dental caries (DMFT 26.85 vs. 22.87; p = 0.05), and more advanced periodontal disease (CPITN: = 0: 21.05% vs. 42.51%; = 1 13.16% vs. 7.29%; = 2: 0% vs. 15.38%; = 3: 65.79% vs. 28.34%; = 4: 0% vs. 6.48%, Residual periodontal bone 73.1% vs. 80.51%; p = 0,001) were characteristic of patients with bisphosphonate related jaw necrosis when compared with control group. An advanced dental caries or periodontal disease required surgical intervention which directly contributed to the development of the bone necrosis. Dental and periodontal disease can lead to bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw. Oncologic patients treated with bisphosphonates should be offered preventive care to reduce dental plaque, calculus, dental caries, and periodontal disease.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Archives of Medical Science
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    • "Bone metastatic complications can severely affect quality of life, and significantly impact healthcare system costs[40]. Clinical practice guidelines provide detailed recommendations regarding treatment of bone metastases, including specific therapies such as radiotherapy[41e43], bone-modifying agents such as bisphosphonates and denosumab[44], and the prevention and treatment of side-effects of treatment, including osteonecrosis of the jaw [45] [46]. Pain is a major symptom of bone metastasis and bone pain management is often inadequate, even in patients referred for palliative radiotherapy[47]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many women diagnosed with breast cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) present with advanced-stage disease. While cure is not a realistic outcome, site-specific interventions, supportive care, and palliative care can achieve meaningful outcomes and improve quality of life. As part of the 5th Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) Global Summit, an expert international panel identified thirteen key resource recommendations for supportive and palliative care for metastatic breast cancer. The recommendations are presented in three resource-stratified tables: health system resource allocations, resource allocations for organ-based metastatic breast cancer, and resource allocations for palliative care. These tables illustrate how health systems can provide supportive and palliative care services for patients at a basic level of available resources, and incrementally add services as more resources become available. The health systems table includes health professional education, patient and family education, palliative care models, and diagnostic testing. The metastatic disease management table provides recommendations for supportive care for bone, brain, liver, lung, and skin metastases as well as bowel obstruction. The third table includes the palliative care recommendations: pain management, and psychosocial and spiritual aspects of care. The panel considered pain management a priority at a basic level of resource allocation and emphasized the need for morphine to be easily available in LMICs. Regular pain assessments and the proper use of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions are recommended. Basic-level resources for psychosocial and spiritual aspects of care include health professional and patient and family education, as well as patient support, including community-based peer support.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland)
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    • "The retrospective control group of patients had received bisphosphonates before implementation of preventive measures. Incidence of ONJ was reduced by two-three times in patients on preventive measures [44] [45] "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Bone-targeted agents such as bisphosphonates and the RANKL antibody have revolutionised the care of patients with bone metastases. There has, however been increasing concern about the oral health of these patients and in particular osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), especially with the increasing use of these agents at higher potencies for greater periods of time.MethodsA review of the published data in PubMed and meeting abstracts was performed to examine incidence, risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical course and management of osteonecrosis of the jaw with focus on cancer patients treated with bone-targeted agents (BTA) for bone metastases. This manuscript takes the most frequent and pertinent questions raised by oncologists, dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons and tries to give a pragmatic overview of the literature.ResultsThe incidence of ONJ varies depending on types of bone-targeted agents, duration of treatment and additional risk factors. The causes and pathogenesis of ONJ is not fully elucidated, however bone-targeted therapy induced impaired bone remodelling, microtrauma secondary to jaw activity, and oral bacterial infection seem to be important factors. Since the treatment options for ONJ are limited and not well established, preventive strategies have to be included in patients management.Conclusions Many unanswered questions remain about the optimal oral care of patients receiving bone-targeted agents. Prospective data collection will remedy this and help to provide practical guidelines for the management and treatment of those patients that require dental intervention.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Journal of Bone Oncology
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