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Roche’s Boniva Equal to Radiation in Cancer-Pain Relief in Study

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Roche Holding AG’s bone-strengthening drug Boniva works as well as radiotherapy at relieving pain associated with prostate cancer that’s spread to the bones, a study found.

In a trial involving 470 patients, a single dose of Boniva given intravenously was equivalent to a single dose of radiation for pain relief a year after treatment, according to results of the trial presented at a conference in Stockholm today.

As much as 70 percent of patients with prostate cancer that’s spread to their bones get pain relief from radiotherapy, said Peter Hoskin, a professor of clinical oncology at University College London. While Boniva isn’t likely to replace radiotherapy, it offers patients another treatment option that may be cheaper and easier to access, Hoskin said in an interview in Stockholm.

The drug, which is approved for osteoporosis, brought in 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.1 billion) in sales last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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