Cancer risk in patients treated with denosumab compared with alendronate: A population-based cohort study

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Background: Antiresorptive treatment is currently used in millions of patients with osteoporosis and cancer worldwide. Early studies of denosumab suggested a small signal in ovarian cancer incidence and emerging data suggest that denosumab stimulates germ cell proliferation in the gonads. This study aims to determine the association between the use of denosumab and the risk of reproductive cancers compared with the use of alendronate. Research design and methods: Using a cohort study design, we used the Danish nationwide registries to identify a population of subjects ≥50 years of age during 2010–2017 who started denosumab after being on alendronate treatment for at least six months. The cohort was matched 1:2 with patients who had been treated with alendronate alone for at least six months. The risk of reproductive cancers and the risk difference between groups were estimated using the Longitudinal Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation (L-TMLE) method. Results: We identified 6054 Danish individuals who underwent treatment with denosumab. These individuals were matched with 12,108 receiving alendronate. The absolute risk of reproductive cancer was 1.05 % (95 % CI 0.75–1.34) after three years for denosumab users and was not different 0.03 % (−0.34–0.39) than for alendronate users. In supplemental analyses, there was no increased risk of non-reproductive cancers associated with the use of denosumab (risk difference of 0.54 % (−0.41–1.19). Analysis comparing denosumab users with the general population gave similar results. Conclusion: There was no difference in the risk of cancer following treatment with denosumab compared to treatment with alendronate assessed after a short follow-up of 3 years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117053
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024

    Research areas

  • Alendronate, cancer, Denosumab, Osteoporosis, Reproductive cancers

ID: 385692514