Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug cuts breast cancer cases by more than 50% in high risk women

Date:
December 12, 2013
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Taking the breast cancer drug anastrozole for five years reduced the chances of post-menopausal women at high risk of breast cancer developing the disease by 53 percent compared with women who took a placebo, according to a study published.

Taking the breast cancer drug anastrozole for five years reduced the chances of post-menopausal women at high risk of breast cancer developing the disease by 53% compared with women who took a placebo, according to a study published in The Lancet.

The results of the IBIS II trial, funded by Cancer Research UK and led by Queen Mary University of London, could offer a new option for preventing breast cancer in high risk post-menopausal women which is more effective than tamoxifen and has fewer side-effects.

The study looked at almost 4,000 postmenopausal women at high risk of breast cancer with half being given 1mg of anastrozole daily and half given a placebo. In the five years of follow up 40 women in the anastrozole group developed breast cancer compared to 85 women placebo group.

Professor Jack oestrogen, lead researcher and head of Queen Mary University of London's Centre for Cancer Prevention, said: "This research is an exciting development in breast cancer prevention. We now know anastrozole should be the drug of choice when it comes to reducing the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with a family history or other risk factors for the disease. This class of drugs is more effective than previous drugs such as tamoxifen and crucially, it has fewer side effects.

"Unpleasant side effects such as acute aches and pains have often been associated with estrogen depriving drugs. However, in this study, the reported side effects were only slightly higher than in the placebo arm. This means most symptoms were not drug related, and the concern about side effects for this type of drug may have been overstated in the past.

"Our priority now is ensuring that as many women as possible can benefit from these new findings. Prevention is an important tool in the fight against breast cancer and we strongly urge the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to consider adding anastrozole to their recommended drugs for women who are predisposed to developing breast cancer. By including this drug in their clinical guidelines, more women will benefit from this important advancement in preventive medicine."

Many breast cancers are fueled by the hormone estrogen. Anastrozole works by preventing the body from making estrogen and has for many years been used to treat postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

Women were judged to be at high risk of breast cancer if they fulfilled one of the following criteria: having two or more blood relatives with breast cancer, having a mother or sister who developed breast cancer before the age of 50, and having a mother or sister who had breast cancer in both breasts, or having certain high risk types of benign breast disease.

Kate Law, director of clinical research at Cancer Research UK, said: "This landmark study shows that anastrozole could be valuable in helping to prevent breast cancer in women at higher than average risk of disease. We now need accurate tests that will predict which women will most benefit from anastrozole and those who will have the fewest side-effects."

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "Cancer Research UK has been funding the IBIS II trial for more than 10 years. We're delighted that the results will now offer women at high risk of breast cancer a new option to significantly reduce their chance of developing the disease. By supporting large trials such as this, which take a long time to complete, we can make discoveries that will help us to save many more lives in the future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jack Cuzick, Ivana Sestak, John F Forbes, Mitch Dowsett, Jill Knox, Simon Cawthorn, Christobel Saunders, Nicola Roche, Robert E Mansel, Gunter von Minckwitz, Bernardo Bonanni, Tiina Palva, Anthony Howell. Anastrozole for prevention of breast cancer in high-risk postmenopausal women (IBIS-II): an international, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62292-8

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Drug cuts breast cancer cases by more than 50% in high risk women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212100049.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2013, December 12). Drug cuts breast cancer cases by more than 50% in high risk women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212100049.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Drug cuts breast cancer cases by more than 50% in high risk women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212100049.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins