Clinical trials have reported conflicting results on whether oral clodronate therapy improves survival in breast cancer patients. This study was undertaken to evaluate further the effect of oral clodronate therapy on overall survival, bone metastasis-free survival and nonskeletal metastasis-free survival among breast cancer patients. An extensive literature search was undertaken for the period 1966 to July 2006 to identify clinical trials examining survival in breast cancer patients who received 2 or 3 years of oral clodronate therapy at 1600 mg day(-1) compared with those without therapy. Meta-analyses were carried out separately for patients diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and early breast cancer. Our meta-analysis found no evidence of any statistically significant difference in overall survival, bone metastasis-free survival or nonskeletal metastasis-free survival in advanced breast cancer patients receiving clodronate therapy or early breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant clodronate treatment compared with those who did not receive any active treatment.