HealthDay News — The cumulative 3-year incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is 2.8% in cancer patients receiving zoledronic acid for metastatic bone disease (MBD), according to a study published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Oncology.

Catherine H. Van Poznak, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the cumulative incidence of ONJ at 3 years in patients receiving zoledronic acid for MBD from any malignant neoplasm.

Among 2263 participants with a baseline dental examination, the researchers found that 90 patients developed confirmed ONJ, with a cumulative incidence of 0.8% at year 1, 2.0% at year 2, and 2.8% at year 3. Among patients with myeloma, the 3-year cumulative incidence was highest. ONJ was more likely among patients with planned zoledronic acid dosing intervals of less than 5 weeks vs those with planned dosing intervals of 5 weeks or longer (hazard ratio [HR], 4.65). A lower total number of teeth, the presence of dentures (HR, 1.83), and current smoking (HR, 2.12) were associated with a higher rate of ONJ.

“These data provide information to guide stratification of risk for developing ONJ in patients with MBD receiving zoledronic acid,” the authors write.

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