Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 454–461 | Cite as

Effects of zoledronate on the radiation-induced collagen breakdown: a prospective randomized clinical trial

  • M. Gierloff
  • M. Reutemann
  • A. GülsesEmail author
  • P. Niehoff
  • J. Wiltfang
  • Y. Açil
Research Article



A negative side effect of therapeutic irradiation is the radiation-induced bone loss which can lead, in long term, to pathological fractures. Until today, the detailed mechanism is unknown. If osteoclasts would mainly contribute to the pathological bone loss, bisphosphonates could potentially counteract the osteolytic process and possibly help to prevent long-term complications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of zoledronic acid on the early radiation-induced degradation of bone collagen fibrils by monitoring the urinary excretion of hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline under radiotherapy.

Patients and methods

A total of 40 patients with skeletal metastases were assigned for a local radiotherapy and bisphosphonate treatment. The patients were prospectively randomized into two treatment groups: group A (n = 20) received the first zoledronate administration after and group B (n = 20) prior to the radiotherapy. Urine samples were collected from each patient on the first day, in the middle, and on the last day of the radiation therapy. Measurement of the bone metabolites hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann–Whitney U test.


The hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline excretion decreased significantly in the combined bisphosphonate and radiotherapy group (p = 0.02, p = 0.08). No significant change of the hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline excretion was determined in the patients that received solely irradiation.


The results indicate the ability of zoledronate to prevent the early radiation-induced bone collagen degradation suggesting that the radiation-induced bone loss is mainly caused by osteoclastic bone resorption rather than by a direct radiation-induced damage.


Bisphosphonates Radiation-induced bone loss Collagen crosslinks Osteoclasts Hydroxylysylpyridinoline Lysylpyridinoline Bone metabolites 



The authors thank Mrs. Refrath and Mrs. Neßenius for their kind assistance in the laboratory.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Gierloff
    • 1
  • M. Reutemann
    • 1
  • A. Gülses
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Niehoff
    • 3
  • J. Wiltfang
    • 1
  • Y. Açil
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity Hospital Schleswig-HolsteinKielGermany
  2. 2.Center for Dentistry and Oral HealthMevki Military HospitalDiskapi AltindagTurkey
  3. 3.Department for Radiotherapy (Radiooncology)University Hospital Köln-MerheimCologneGermany

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