Teriparatide Promotes Bone Healing in Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Trial

Ie-Wen Sim, Gelsomina L. Borromeo, Claudine Tsao, Rita Hardiman, Michael S. Hofman, Christian Papatziamos Hjelle, Musib Siddique, Gary J.R. Cook, John F. Seymour, Peter R. Ebeling

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PURPOSE: Medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ) is an infrequent but morbid and potentially serious condition associated with antiresorptive and antiangiogenic therapies. Although MRONJ can be prevented by optimizing oral health, management of established cases is supportive and remains challenging. Teriparatide, an osteoanabolic agent that improves bone healing in preclinical studies and in chronic periodontitis, represents a potential treatment option. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, 34 participants with established MRONJ, with a total of 47 distinct MRONJ lesions, were allocated to either 8 weeks of subcutaneous teriparatide (20 µg/day) or placebo injections, in addition to calcium and vitamin D supplementation and standard clinical care. Participants were observed for 12 months, with primary outcomes that included the clinical and radiologic resolution of MRONJ lesions. Secondary outcomes included osteoblastic responses as measured biochemically and radiologically and changes in quality of life. RESULTS: Teriparatide was associated with a greater rate of resolution of MRONJ lesions (odds ratio [OR], 0.15 v 0.40; P = .013), and 45.4% of lesions resolved by 52 weeks compared with 33.3% in the placebo group. Teriparatide was also associated with reduced bony defects at week 52 (OR, 8.1; P = .017). The incidence of adverse events was balanced between groups, including nausea, anorexia, and musculoskeletal pain, most of mild severity. CONCLUSION: Teriparatide improves the rate of resolution of MRONJ lesions and represents an efficacious and safe treatment for it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2971-2980
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2020

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