An individualised risk-adapted protocol of pre- and post transplant zoledronic acid reduces bone loss after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: results of a phase II prospective trial

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Bone loss occurs frequently following allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). The Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group conducted a prospective phase II study of pretransplant zoledronic acid (ZA) and individualised posttransplant ZA to prevent bone loss in alloSCT recipients. Patients received ZA 4 mg before conditioning. Administration of posttransplant ZA from days 100 to 365 post alloSCT was determined by a risk-adapted algorithm based on serial bone density assessments and glucocorticoid exposure. Of 82 patients enrolled, 70 were alive and without relapse at day 100. A single pretransplant dose of ZA prevented femoral neck bone loss at day 100 compared with baseline (mean change - 2.6 ± 4.6%). Using the risk-adapted protocol, 42 patients received ZA between days 100 and 365 post alloSCT, and this minimised bone loss at day 365 compared with pretransplant levels (mean change - 2.9 ± 5.3%). Femoral neck bone loss was significantly reduced in ZA-treated patients compared with historical untreated controls at days 100 and 365. This study demonstrates that a single dose of ZA pre-alloSCT prevents femoral neck bone loss at day 100 post alloSCT, and that a risk-adapted algorithm is able to guide ZA administration from days 100 to 365 post transplant and minimise further bone loss.

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