Lane, Nancy E
Purpose of review: Osteoporosis results from a loss of bone mass and structure such that bones break with very little trauma. To reduce bone loss and improve strength, antiresorptive agents have been instituted. Just more than a year ago, a 34-amino acid fragment of parathyroid hormone (recombinant human parathyroid hormone 1-34) was approved for the treatment of osteoporosis. The parathyroid hormone treatment works by stimulating bone formation on all bone surfaces and is referred to as an osteoanabolic agent. The purpose of this article is to review initial phase 2 and phase 3 studies that establish the effectiveness of this agent to treat osteoporosis.
Recent findings: In addition, studies that use parathyroid hormone in combination with antiresorptive agents and sequentially are reviewed. Last, unresolved issues related to the duration of use of parathyroid hormone are discussed.
Summary: In summary, parathyroid hormone compounds are a major advance in the treatment of osteoporosis. Additional research will enlighten clinicians on the most efficacious way to use them.
Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 16(4):457-463, July 2004.