Purpose: To determine whether pamidronate is a safe and effective agent for the treatment of severe hypercalcemia of malignancy in children.
Materials and methods: A retrospective review of the charts of five children treated with pamidronate 1-2 mg/kg for severe, refractory hypercalcemia of malignancy. All children failed conventional therapy. Statistical analysis was done utilizing the two-tailed Student's t-test.
Results: All five children had complete resolution of their hypercalcemia in a predictable pattern within 24-48 hours. The average decrease in serum calcium was 1.63 mmol/L (6.54 mg/dl). (P < .01) The adverse effects were mild and transient, and consisted of hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, and hypomagnesemia.
Conclusions: Pamidronate at a dose of 1 mg/kg is a safe and effective treatment for severe, refractory hypercalcemia of malignancy in children.