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Wonder drug fights breast cancer


Re: Wonder drug fights breast cancer

I am on Letrozole and this is good news. I hope that more research can be done.

Re: Wonder drug fights breast cancer

Hi ladies, i too had arimidex and then aromasin after my initial diagnosis. Unfortunately the cancer returned as skin mets and it is only now that i have been put on letrozole following two lots of chemo. I am worried that as i had the other two and they didnt work, that this one wont either. I did wonder why, if this one is so good, i wasnt put on it in the first place, with the medical team knowing i had LVI and lobular cancer which is more likely to spread (i had an elective mastectomy to prevent this but even that failed). Is it another case of cost, i wonder?


Re: Wonder drug fights breast cancer

HI Jayney234

Anastrazole is an aromatase inhibitor as is femara....


My consult always said Anastrazole is better then Tamoxifen so as soon as my ovaries were removed he changed me onto anastrazole.


Hopefully this is better all of us.

Donna x


Re: Wonder drug fights breast cancer

Very interesting.  I am on Anastrozole and wonder why I wasn't put on Femara in the first place or are they much of the same?


Wonder drug fights breast cancer

Hi ladies I know alot of us are already on this but wanted to share for those who are not.


A new drug is having huge success in protecting breast cancer patients from relapses for years after surgery.


Experts claim it could save thousands of lives by giving women extra protection against a recurrence of the disease, possibly for a decade or more.


The drug letrozole almost halves the risk of the cancer recurring or spreading from one breast to the other.


The 'unprecedented' success forced researchers to halt the five-year trial after only two and a half years.


They said it would have been wrong to let the women taking placebos to continue when it was clear the drug was having a good effect and should be given to them too.


Professor Ian Smith, head of the breast unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, said: 'The data surpassed our expectations.'


Specialists believe some women may benefit from taking hormonal therapy for at least ten years after surgery.


Breast cancer patients are usually given the all- clear after five years, but there is still a risk it will come back.


The disease claims 13,000 lives in the UK each year.


Of the 30,000 women who develop breast cancer after the menopause, 20,000 are prescribed tamoxifen after surgery to prevent it recurring. But tamoxifen can be taken for only five years as it then becomes less effective and can trigger significant side-effects, including cancer of the womb lining, blood clots and stroke.


The new trial was designed to find out if letrozole would protect women after they finished taking tamoxifen.


It involved 5,200 women, 130 of them British, who had taken tamoxifen for five years. Half were given the new drug and the remainder took a placebo.


After nearly two and a half years, the women taking letrozole were 43 per cent less likely to have a relapse. They also had a 46 per cent reduction in cancer spreading to the other breast.


The study, coordinated by 18 doctors at hospitals in Europe, Canada and the U.S., was published yesterday by the respected New


England Journal of Medicine. It decided to publish the results online rather than wait until next month because of their significance.


Letrozole, trade name Femara, is one of a new class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors which are being hailed as the biggest breakthrough in treating breast cancer for 20 years.


They are effective in twothirds of patients where the tumours are stimulated by the hormone oestrogen and work only for women who have passed the menopause.


While tamoxifen works by blocking oestrogen's effects on cancer cells, aromatase inhibitors shut down the body's supply altogether.


Trials show they are better than tamoxifen in treating advanced breast cancer.


Professor Jack Cuzick, of Cancer Research UK, said: 'These results are exciting.


Aromatase inhibitors look like becoming the most effective hormone treatments for breast cancer in post-menopausal women, with the potential to save a great many lives.'


Last month, the charity announced a £10million trial of another aromatase inhibitor, anastrozole, to see if it will prevent breast cancer in healthy women.


Letrozole is licensed for use to shrink breast tumours before surgery. Novartis Oncology said it would seek a new licence so women could use it after taking tamoxifen for five years.


Delyth Morgan, of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: 'The results look very promising. However, since the trial was ended early, we would welcome more research to establish the long-term effectiveness and side-effects of this drug.'

by JENNY HOPE, Daily Mail