Zoledronic acid (brand name, Zoledronate) is one of a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, medications used to treat bone metastases (i.e, tumors that have spread from their primary location to the bone) in cancer patients.[1, 2]
The way that zoledronic acid works is by the following steps:
• Blocking the action of certain cancer-associated cytokines (molecules) that can cause a loss of calcium from bone
• Blocking the action of certain cancer-associated cytokines that otherwise could stimulate the growth and action of osteoclasts, bone cells involved in breaking down bone
• Blocking the action of osteoclasts in breaking down bone
• Stimulating apoptosis (a programmed process in which a specific type of cell destroys itself) of osteoclasts
• Blocking the destruction of bone
1. National Cancer Institute. NCI Drug Dictionary. Accessed at www.cancer.gov.
2. National Cancer Institute. Physicians Data Query. Accessed at www.cancer.gov.