Single-agent pamidronate for palliative therapy of canine appendicular osteosarcoma bone pain

Timothy M. Fan, Louis Philippe De Lorimier, Kristen O'Dell-Anderson, Hugues I. Lacoste, Sarah C. Charney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Canine appendicular osteosarcoma (OSA) causes focal bone destruction, leading to chronic pain and reduced quality-of-life scores. Drugs that inhibit pathologic osteolysis might provide additional treatment options for managing cancer-induced bone pain. Aminobisphosphonates induce osteoclast apoptosis, thereby reducing pain associated with malignant osteolysis in human patients with cancer. Hypothesis: Treatment of dogs with pamidronate administered intravenously will alleviate bone pain and reduce pathologic bone turnover associated with appendicular OSA in dogs. Animals: Forty-three dogs with naturally occurring appendicular OSA administered pamidronate intravenously. Methods: Prospective study. Therapeutic responses in dogs treated with pamidronate administered intravenously and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) were evaluated by using a numerical cumulative pain index score (CPIS), and by quantifying urine N-telopeptide (NTx) excretion and relative primary tumor bone mineral density (rBMD) assessed with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. In addition, variables, including pamidronate dose, skeletal mass, baseline and change for CPIS, urine NTx and rBMD during treatment, and baseline tumor volume and radiographic pattern were compared between dogs clinically responsive and nonresponsive to pamidronate therapy. Results: Twelve of 43 dogs (28%) had pain alleviation for >4 months, lasting a median of 231 days. Changes in CPIS and rBMD during treatment were statistically different between responders and nonresponders (P = .046 and .03, respectively). Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Substantiated by reductions in CPIS and increases in rBMD, single-agent pamidronate administered intravenously with NSAID therapy relieves pain and diminishes pathologic bone turnover associated with appendicular OSA in a subset of dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Aminobisphosphonate
  • Bone sarcoma
  • Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry
  • Malignant osteolysis
  • Pain alleviation
  • Urine N-telopeptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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