March 1985

Intravenous Etidronate in the Management of Malignant Hypercalcemia

Author Affiliations

From the Orthopedic Hospital, Los Angeles (Dr Ryzen); Department of Oncology, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr Troxell); Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Dr Benson); Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Alberta (Dr Paterson); Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Chicago Hospital and Clinics (Dr Shepard); and Proctor & Gamble Co, Cincinnati (Dr Martodam and Mr Hicks).

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(3):449-452. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360030089018

• The treatment of hypercalcemia remains a common problem in the management of many patients with cancer. We have used intravenously administered etidronate disodium as a therapy for hypercalcemia in 26 patients with malignant disease. Patients with persistent hypercalcemia despite adequate hydration and a serum creatinine level less than or equal to 1.5 mg/dL were allowed on study. Treatment consisted of intravenously administered etidronate disodium at 7.5 mg/kg/day in 250 mL of saline infused over two hours on 1, 2,3, or 4 consecutive days. The serum calcium level in 19 (73%) of 26 patients returned to the normal range with a mean response time of 3±2 days. Similar response rates were seen in patients with a variety of tumors, including breast cancer, non—small-cell lung cancer, and multiple myeloma. Intravenously administered etidronate appears to be safe and effective therapy for hypercalcemia in patients with malignant disease.

(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:449-452)