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Deepak Chellapandian
Polyzois Makras
Gregory Kaltsas
Cor van den Bos
Lamia Naccache
Raajit Rampal
Anne-Sophie Carret
Sheila Weitzman
R. Maarten Egeler
Oussama Abla


Langerhans cell histiocytosis, bisphosphonate, chemotherapy, bone pain of LCH, disease reactivation


Background: Bone is the most common organ of involvement in patients with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), which is often painful and associated with significant morbidity from pathological fractures. Current first-line treatments include chemotherapy and steroids that are effective but often associated with adverse effects, whereas the disease may reactivate despite an initial response to first-line agents. Bisphosphonates are osteoclast inhibitors that have shown to be helpful in treating bone lesions of LCH. To date, there are no large international studies to describe their role in treating bone lesions of LCH. Method: We conducted a multicenter retrospective review of 13 patients with histologically proven LCH, who had received bisphosphonates either at diagnosis or at disease reactivation. Results: Ten patients (77%) had a single system bone disease, and 3 (23%) had bone lesions as part of multisystem disease. Median follow-up time post-bisphosphonate therapy was 4.6 years (range, 0.8 to 8.2 years). Treatment with bisphosphonates was associated with significant pain relief in almost all patients. Twelve  (92%) achieved resolution of active bone lesions, and 10 out of them had no active disease for a median of 3.5 years (range, 0.8 to 5 years). One patient did not respond. No major adverse effects were reported in this series.  Conclusion: Bisphosphonates are well-tolerated drugs that can significantly improve bone pain and induce remission in active bone LCH. Future prospective studies evaluating the role of bisphosphonates in LCH are warranted.


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