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Keywords:

  • ZOLEDRONIC ACID;
  • BONE GROWTH;
  • OSTEOSARCOMA;
  • EWING SARCOMA;
  • BONE RESORPTION

Abstract

Osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma represent the two most frequent primary bone tumors that arise in the pediatric population. Despite recent improvement in their therapeutic management, no improvement in survival rate has been achieved since early 1980 s. Among new therapeutic approaches, bisphosphonates are promising candidates as potent inhibitors of bone resorption. However, their effects on bone growth must be studied at dosing regimen corresponding to pediatric protocols. To this aim, several protocols using zoledronic acid (ZOL) were developed in growing mice (50 µg/kg every 2 days × 10). Parameters of bone remodeling and bone growth were investigated by radiography, micro–computed tomography, histology, and biologic analyses. Extramedullar hematopoiesis was searched for in spleen tissue. A transient inhibitory effect of ZOL was observed on bone length, with a bone-growth arrest during treatment owing to an impressive increase in bone formation at the growth plate level (8- to 10-fold increase in BV/TV). This sclerotic band then shifted into the diaphysis as soon as endochondral bone formation started again after the end of ZOL treatment, revealing that osteoclasts and osteoblasts are still active at the growth plate. In conclusion, endochondral bone growth is transiently disturbed by high doses of ZOL corresponding to the pediatric treatment of primary bone tumors. These preclinical observations were confirmed by a case report in a pediatric patient treated in the French OS2006 protocol over 10 months who showed a growth arrest during the ZOL treatment period with normal gain in size after the end of treatment. © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research