I wanted to share the article below re Anastrazole.
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
Anastrozole belongs to a group of drugs called aromatase inhibitors. Normally in the body, some of the androgens (male hormones) that are made by the adrenal glands are converted to estrogen by an enzyme in fat tissue called aromatase.
This drug blocks aromatase so that estrogen isn’t formed that way.
This lowers estrogen levels in women who do not have functioning ovaries or who have had them removed. Anastrazole doesn’t affect estrogen production from the ovaries, so has little effect on estrogen levels in women whose ovaries are working. If estrogen levels are lowered, breast cancers that need estrogen to grow may stop growing or decrease in size.
From the cancer research site.
My consultant said Anastrazole works far better than Tamoxifen.Hence he wanted my ovaries removed and then start on anasrazole.
Hope they sort for you
hi yes i had everything removed and have not been told to stop tamoxifen as of yet it was 4 weeks ago .. my sister had a hysterectomy and years after that had breast cancer but she also was only tamoxifen for 5 years , i need to ask my breast canvcer nurse tomorrow as i have y herceptin injection x
did they remove your ovaries too?
I had my ovaries removed which meant that Tamoxifen is no longer of any use and commenced on Anastrazole which depleats the production of oestrogen in the rest of your body.
If this is the case they should have stopped your tamoxifen or will do so...
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Very best wishes
hi all .. ive finished chemo and radiotheraphy but still having herceptin (6 left )and on tamoxifen and had a hysterectomy 3 weeks ago ... my question is i have been on tamoxifen for a few months but had to stop for a week due to an operation i restarted tamoxifen again on the 11th of feb this year but am having headaches since i restarted them im now thinking its affects of the menopause..so i just want to know is anyone else suffering with headaches and cant take HRT .. i am going to ring my doctor tomoz and ask if there is anything i can take because i cant go on like this all the time . im a miserable thing