Innovative new Osteoporosis treatment arrives at Hadassah Ein Kerem
"The drug to our delight is entering the "drug basket" of 2020 and that's a great thing for patients suffering from severe osteoporosis.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
A new biological treatment for osteoporosis has been released in Israel at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, a disease which affects over one in two women, and one in five men over the age of fifty each year.Osteoporosis is a disease that affects a large amount of the population, and according to Prof. Rebecca Dresner-Polk Director of the Endocrinology Department at Hadassah, "many suffer from the disease without knowing that they have it." People suffering from the disease usually are only made aware of it after breaking a bone after a minor injury, such as "breaking a rib after coughing, or a hip fracture after falling from just a short height." She continues on to explain that sometimes it manifests as simple back pain "after an intensive Passover cleaning", when really it's a fracture in the spine.The innovative treatment builds bones by way of a 'subcutaneous' injection, (an injection given between the skin and the muscle) and is given to patients suffering from severe osteoporosis once a month for up to a year. It is an antibody that works against the protein that inhibits bone formation."The drug to our delight is entering the 'drug basket' of 2020 and that's great news for patients suffering from severe osteoporosis. Strengthening of the bone prevents unnecessary fractures in patients and this is how we'll provide for their health and quality of their lives. For the first time, we started to administer the drug to our patient in Hadassah who is suffering from severe osteoporosis" said Dresner-Polk.Until now only one bone building drug has been used in Israel, Forteo, and there are many groups of people who are not able to receive the drug, such as women who have undergone radiation therapy for breast cancer. Usage of Forteo is limited to two years, but the new biological injection used at Hadassah can be given even after two years of the Forteo drug.The first patient to receive the drug said, "It's important for me to thank the wonderful health care team from Hadassah. To be the first patient in the country to receive the drug definitely worried me, but I knew that I was in good hands and that I had nothing to worry about. Prof. Dresner-Polk was already familiar with the drug even in its preclinical stages, and knowing that definitely helped relive my stress. It's been wonderful to know that my body's response to the drug have been very good, and I've not suffered from any side effects."Hadassah suggests that women over the age of 60 and men over the age of 70 should undergo regular bone density checks. In addition, there are medical situations that increase the risk of osteoporosis such as: Excess steroids (even if given as a treatment for some disease), a lack of vitamin D, excess thyroid hormone and parathyroid hormone, low sex hormones in men and women, both diabetes types 1 and 2, smoking, excess alcohol drinking, and drug treatments like aromatase inhibitors given to women with breast cancer or hormonal treatments to men with prostate cancer.