, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 445–455 | Cite as

Efficacy of bovine lactoferrin in the post-surgical treatment of patients suffering from bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws: an open-label study

  • Francesco Calvani
  • Antimo Cutone
  • Maria Stefania Lepanto
  • Luigi Rosa
  • Valentino Valentini
  • Piera Valenti


Osteonecrosis of the jaws is an emerging pathological condition characterized by un-exposure or exposure of the necrotic bone, independently from the etiology. This term is usually referred to medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws due to severe adverse reaction to certain medicines, as bisphosphonates, used for the treatment of cancer and osteoporosis. The management of patients with Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws (BRONJ) remains challenging because surgical and medical interventions may not eradicate this pathology. The goal of treatment of patients at risk of developing BRONJ or of those who have active disease is the preservation of quality of life by controlling pain, managing infection, and preventing the development of new areas of necrosis. The treatment of osteonecrosis consists in the surgical removal of necrotic bone followed by antibiotic therapy and application of sterile greasy gauze until the wound closure. The classical medical treatment has been compared with the innovative one consisting in the application of sterile greasy gauze soaked with bovine lactoferrin (bLf) after surgery. Here, for the first time, bLf efficacy on wound repair in subjects suffering from BRONJ with the progressive destruction of bone in the mandible or maxilla has been demonstrated. The positive results consist in a significant shorter time of wound closure (1 or 2 weeks) compared to that observed with classical surgical treatment (2–3 months). These promising results are an interesting tool for the innovative treatment of this pathology and for increasing the quality of life of these patients.


Lactoferrin Osteonecrosis of the jaw BRONJ MRONJ Wound repair 



This work was granted by University of Rome La Sapienza Funds to PV.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Calvani
    • 1
  • Antimo Cutone
    • 2
  • Maria Stefania Lepanto
    • 3
  • Luigi Rosa
    • 3
  • Valentino Valentini
    • 1
  • Piera Valenti
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Odontostomatological Science and Maxillo Facial SurgeryUniversity of Rome La SapienzaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Deparment of Biosciences and TerritoryUniversity of MolisePescheItaly
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of Rome La SapienzaRomeItaly

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