Background — Denosumab inhibits the receptor activator of nuclear factor κB (RANK) pathway and is used to treat osteoporosis. Emerging evidence suggests RANK-blockade may play a role in mammary tumourigenesis. Thus, we undertook a population-based study of denosumab use and breast cancer risk in a large cohort of postmenopausal women.
Methods — We included women 67+ years with prior bisphosphonate use who filled a first prescription for denosumab. They were matched on age, date, cumulative prior use of and time since last use of a bisphosphonate to women with no history of denosumab. Cox proportional hazards was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of breast cancer with denosumab use.
Results — A total of 100,368 women were included in the analysis with 1271 incident breast cancer events. Denosumab use was associated with a 13% decreased breast cancer risk (HR = 0.87; 95% CI 0.76–1.00). There was no relationship between increasing number of denosumab doses and breast cancer risk (P-trend = 0.15).
Conclusion — These findings suggest a potential protective effect of ever denosumab use on breast cancer risk in a cohort of older women previously treated with bisphosphonates.