Zometa for secondary breast cancer



My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago… She had one of her breasts removed along with 11 lymph nodes. She then had 6 months of chemo and 3 weeks of Radiotherapy. She was then put on letrozle and despite having some horrible side effects, pretty much lived a normal life until recently… Mum went quite downhill, bone pain and lack of energy so went back to marsden to see her oncologist who gave her blood tests, CT scan and a bone scan… Unfortunately the cancer is now in her bones, but it is treatable with Exemestane and a monthly injection of Zometa… She had her first injection 7 days ago and they said that she might have flu like symptoms for 2/3 days…  She is worse than when she had chemo, pins and needles in her hands and feet and can’t walk. My dad has to help her up and down the stairs, get her out of bed etc… My mum was extremely active and always busy, so this is really hard for us to see her like this… Please can anyone tell me about their experiences of being on Zometa, does it get any better? We are trying to get her an appointment with Marsden as she is going to refuse any more treatment of this is what her life is going to be like… 

Hi Sac72, 

I am very sorry to hear that you and your mum are going through this difficult time. I am sure our users will be along soon to share their experiences of Zometa and offer their support.

In the meantime, please do call our helpline at 0808 800 600. They will be able help to answer some of your questions and offer a friendly ear. the opening hours are below.

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Monday and Wednesday 5pm-7pm,
Saturday, 9am-1pm 

Best wishes, 


The result depends on the many factors like if the tumor is immunogenic, in other words, attracts a lot of cytotoxic T cells. Some tumors are invisible to them as tumors are our own cells. But if the tumor cells are very abnormal they might become visible and T cells might infiltrate the tumor and start killing it. However, cancer has a way to deactivate them so the pd1 inhibitors reactivate them back. Most people don’t report any side effects, maybe some tiredness, but few people had strong side effects and had to stop. PD1 inhibitors (opdivo and keytruda) are very effective in bladder cancer, kidney cancer, melanoma and lung cancer. The PD-L1 inhibitors are also in trials (from Roche and some others). They prevent inactivation of T cells by inhibiting the substrate of PD1 that is expressed on tumor cells.