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Administration of zoledronic acid enhances the effects of docetaxel on growth of prostate cancer in the bone environment

Kristen D Brubaker1, Lisha G Brown2, Robert L Vessella2 and Eva Corey2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, USA

2 Department of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:15  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-15

Published: 17 January 2006



After development of hormone-refractory metastatic disease, prostate cancer is incurable. The recent history of chemotherapy has shown that with difficult disease targets, combinatorial therapy frequently offers the best chance of a cure. In this study we have examined the effects of a combination of zoledronic acid (ZOL), a new-generation bisphosphonate, and docetaxel on LuCaP 23.1, a prostate cancer xenograft that stimulates the osteoblastic reaction when grown in the bone environment.


Intra-tibial injections of LuCaP 23.1 cells were used to generate tumors in the bone environment, and animals were treated with ZOL, docetaxel, or a combination of these. Effects on bone and tumor were evaluated by measurements of bone mineral density and histomorphometrical analysis.


ZOL decreased proliferation of LuCaP 23.1 in the bone environment, while docetaxel at a dose that effectively inhibited growth of subcutaneous tumors did not show any effects in the bone environment. The combination of the drugs significantly inhibited the growth of LuCaP 23.1 tumors in the bone.


In conclusion, the use of the osteolysis-inhibitory agent ZOL in combination with docetaxel inhibits growth of prostate tumors in bone and represents a potential treatment option.