Amgen's denosumab prevents fractures in big cancer study

Just two days ahead of a crucial expert panel review of Amgen's blockbuster bone drug denosumab, a new study revealed that the drug reduced spinal fractures in 62 percent of prostate cancer victims when compared to a placebo. And the therapy also increased mineral density in bones.

"These are medical practice-changing results," said the lead author of the study, Matthew Smith. "It addresses an important unmet medical need for fracture prevention in men with prostate cancer."

Smith added that this was the first large study to examine a therapy for preventing spinal fractures. One third of all prostate cancer victims get androgen-deprivation therapy, which reduces the level of testosterone in the body. It also increases the risk of a fracture.

Denosumab is being reviewed as a treatment for osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Analysts expect sales to reach up to around $3 billion.

- read the story from Bloomberg