Lowering bone mineral affinity of bisphosphonates as a therapeutic strategy to optimize skeletal tumor growth inhibition in vivo

Pierrick G J Fournier, Florence Daubiné, Mark W Lundy, Mike Rogers, Frank H Ebetino, Philippe Clézardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Bisphosphonates bind avidly to bone mineral and are potent inhibitors of osteoclast-mediated bone destruction. They also exhibit antitumor activity in vitro. Here, we used a mouse model of human breast cancer bone metastasis to examine the effects of risedronate and NE-10790, a phosphonocarboxylate analogue of the bisphosphonate risedronate, on osteolysis and tumor growth. Osteolysis was measured by radiography and histomorphometry. Tumor burden was measured by fluorescence imaging and histomorphometry. NE-10790 had a 70-fold lower bone mineral affinity compared with risedronate. It was 7-fold and 8,800-fold less potent than risedronate at reducing, respectively, breast cancer cell viability in vitro and bone loss in ovariectomized animals. We next showed that risedronate given at a low dosage in animals bearing human B02-GFP breast tumors reduced osteolysis by inhibiting bone resorption, whereas therapy with higher doses also inhibited skeletal tumor burden. Conversely, therapy with NE-10790 substantially reduced skeletal tumor growth at a dosage that did not inhibit osteolysis, a higher dosage being able to also reduce bone destruction. The in vivo antitumor activity of NE-10790 was restricted to bone because it did not inhibit the growth of subcutaneous B02-GFP tumor xenografts nor the formation of B16-F10 melanoma lung metastases. Moreover, NE-10790, in combination with risedronate, reduced both osteolysis and skeletal tumor burden, whereas NE-10790 or risedronate alone only decreased either tumor burden or osteolysis, respectively. In conclusion, our study shows that decreasing the bone mineral affinity of bisphosphonates is an effective therapeutic strategy to inhibit skeletal tumor growth in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8945-8953
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Animals
  • Bone Neoplasms
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Diphosphonates
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Etidronic Acid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Pyridines
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


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