Lack of bone neoplasms and persistence of bone efficacy in cynomolgus macaques after long-term treatment with teriparatide [rhPTH(1-34)].

In rats, teriparatide [rhPTH(1-34)] causes marked increases in bone mass and osteosarcoma. In primates, teriparatide causes lesser increases in bone mass, and osteosarcomas have not been reported. Previous studies in primates were not designed to detect bone tumors and did not include a prolonged post-treatment observation period to determine whether tumors would arise after cessation of treatment. Ovariectomized (OVX), skeletally mature, cynomolgus monkeys (n = 30 per group) were given teriparatide for 18 mo at either 0 or 5 microg/kg/d subcutaneously. After 18 mo of treatment, subgroups of six monkeys from both groups were killed and evaluated, whereas all remaining monkeys entered a 3-yr observation period in which they did not receive teriparatide. Surveillance for bone tumors was accomplished with plain film radiographs, visual examination of the skeleton at necropsy, and histologic evaluation of multiple skeletal sites. Quantitative assessments of bone mass, architecture, and strength were also performed. After the 18-mo treatment period, vertebral BMD, BMC, and strength (ultimate load) were increased by 29%, 36%, and 52%, respectively, compared with OVX controls. Proximal femur BMD, BMC, and strength were also increased by 15%, 28% and 33%, respectively. After 3 yr without treatment, no differences in bone mass or strength at the vertebra were observed relative to OVX controls; however, the femoral neck showed significant persistence in stiffness (20%), BMC (14%), and trabecular BV/TV (53%), indicating a retention of teriparatide efficacy at the hip. Radiographs and histology did not identify any bone proliferative lesions or microscopic lesions of osteosarcoma at the end of the treatment or observation period. These data indicate that teriparatide did not induce bone proliferative lesions over a 4.5-yr interval of observation, including 18 mo of treatment and 3 yr of follow-up observation. Bone analyses confirmed that teriparatide caused increases in bone mass and strength, consistent with previous studies. During the withdrawal phase, beneficial effects of teriparatide treatment on the vertebra were lost; however, some of the beneficial effects on the proximal femur persisted for 3 yr after cessation of treatment. Although the lack of bone tumors in this study provides some additional reassurance regarding the safety of teriparatide for the primate skeleton, the small group size and other limitations of this, or any other animal study, limit the ability to draw definitive conclusions regarding the risk of bone tumor developments in patients.
AuthorsJohn L Vahle, Ulrich Zuehlke, Allen Schmidt, Michael Westmore, Peiqi Chen, Masahiko Sato
JournalJournal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (J Bone Miner Res) Vol. 23 Issue 12 Pg. 2033-9 (Dec 2008) ISSN: 1523-4681 [Electronic] United States
PMID18684088 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Teriparatide
  • Animals
  • Bone Density (drug effects)
  • Bone Neoplasms (etiology, pathology)
  • Bone and Bones (drug effects, pathology)
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Femur (pathology)
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Teriparatide (adverse effects, pharmacology)
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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