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March 1991

Treatment of Hypercalcemia of Malignancy With Intravenous Etidronate: A Controlled, Multicenter Study

Author Affiliations

the Hypercalcemia Study Group

From the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles (Drs Singer and Ryzen); Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Dr Ritch); University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago (Dr Lad); Veterans Administration Hospital, Columbia, Mo (Dr Ringenberg); University of Wisconsin, Center for Health Sciences, Madison (Dr Schiller); and Creighton University School of Medicine/St Joseph Hospital, Omaha, Neb (Dr Recker).

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(3):471-476. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400030039007

In a prospective, randomized, double-blind, multicenter study, 202 patients with cancer from 19 medical centers were treated for hypercalcemia of malignancy with daily intravenous infusions of etidronate disodium (136 patients) or saline alone (66 patients) for 3 consecutive days. Patients also received up to 3.25 L of saline daily during the treatment period. Of 157 patients for whom data could be evaluated for efficacy, 63% (72/114) of etidronate-treated and 33% (14/43) of saline-treated patients had a normalization of total serum calcium levels. When serum calcium levels were adjusted for albumin (147 assessable patients), 24% of the etidronate- and 7% of the saline-treated patients responded to treatment. No serious side effects or treatmentrelated deaths occurred. When accompanied by adequate hydration and diuresis, intravenous etidronate was safe and more effective than hydration and diuresis alone in controlling hypercalcemia of malignancy.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:471-476)