Future Therapies

  • Ian R. Reid


  • The continuing increase in the incidence of osteoporotic fractures provides a continuing stimulus to research into the treatment of this problem. As a result, there is a steady stream of novel therapies reaching the clinic, the most imminent arrivals being PTH and intermittent bisphosphonates.

  • New SERMs are in clinical trials, selective modulators of other steroid receptors are being developed, and new agents that interfere with osteoclast function and a variety of anabolic peptides are being studied.

  • Statins show dramatic but inconsistent effects on bone in laboratory studies.

  • Strontium ranelate has produced benefits in clinical trials showing vertebral fracture reduction of 40–50%.

Currently, the therapy of osteoporosis is an intense focus of research by both commercial and non-commercial agencies. Some new therapies are likely to be introduced into clinical practice within the next 12 months, others are in phase I–III clinical trials, and still others have, to date, been evaluated only in the laboratory.


Androgen Receptor Zoledronic Acid Strontium Ranelate Selective Modulator Stimulate Bone Formation 
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Further Reading

  1. Meunier PJ, Roux C, Seeman E, et al. (2004) The effects of strontium ranelate on the risk of vertebral fracture in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. N Engl J Med 350:459–68.Google Scholar
  2. Meunier PJ, Slosman DO, Delmas PD, et al. (2002) Strontium ranelate: dose-dependent effects in established postmenopausal vertebral osteoporosis-a 2-year randomized placebo controlled trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87: 2060–2066.Google Scholar
  3. Mundy G, Garrett R, Harris S, et al. (1999) Stimulation of bone formation in vitro and in rodents by statins. Science 286: 1946–1949.Google Scholar
  4. Neer RM, Arnaud CD, Zanchetta JR, et al. (2001) Effect of parathyroid hormone (1–34) on fractures and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. N Engl J Med 344: 1434–1441.Google Scholar
  5. Reid IR, Brown J, Burckhardt P, et al. (2001) A single annual injection of the bisphosphonate, zoledronic acid, stably reduces bone turnover and increases bone density in postmenopausal osteoporosis. Bone 28 (supplement): S89.Google Scholar
  6. Reid IR, Hague W, Emberson J, et al. (2001) Effect of pravastatin on frequency offracture in the LIPID study: secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 357: 509–512.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian R. Reid

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