Cancer drug to benefit thousands

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Cancer drug to benefit thousands

Postby silkie » Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:49 am

Cancer drug to benefit thousands

The new drug offers fresh hope to thousands of patients
A newly-prescribed breast cancer drug is much more effective than a standard treatment, according to a new study.
Scotland was the first part of the UK to approve the use of Arimidex for post-menopausal women with early breast cancer.

The drug, hailed as the new gold standard therapy after surgery, will benefit about 4,000 women.

A study published in The Lancet found the risk of the disease returning was reduced by almost half.

Patients in England and Wales could also get the drug before the end of the year as it is due to be considered soon for approval by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

By changing treatment, their chances of beating the disease and living longer cancer free can be greatly improved, giving them more confidence for the future

Professor Walter Jonat

Research published in the Lancet Oncology found women with early breast cancer who switched to Arimidex after using the standard drug, Tamoxifen, for two to three years following surgery reduced their chances of dying by 29%.

The Lancet study also found the risk of the disease returning was reduced by almost half (45%).

The long-term chances of remaining cancer-free were 39%, according to the research, which was based on European trials.

The author of the study, Professor Walter Jonat, of the University of Kiel in Germany, said: "By changing treatment, their chances of beating the disease and living longer cancer free can be greatly improved, giving them more confidence for the future."

Arimidex, which was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), is an aromatase inhibitor which helps treat breast cancer by blocking production of oestrogen in the adrenal gland.

Article from the BBC health News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6158936.stm
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