Breast cancer drug 'halves likelihood of high-risk women developing disease'

Anastrozole must be made available on NHS immediately, say charities and authors of trial funded by Cancer Research UKA drug not yet available on the NHS has been found to be better at preventing breast cancer than those approved for use, leading to urgent calls for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to make it accessible immediately.The drug anastrozole has been found to halve the likelihood of high-risk women developing the disease and to have fewer side-effects, according to a study published on Thursday in the Lancet medical journal. The Ibis-II study, funded by Cancer Research UK and led by Queen Mary University of London, tracked almost 4,000 postmenopausal women at high risk of breast cancer and found that those who took anastrozole for five years were 53% less likely to develop the disease than women who took a placebo.Nice took the historic step this year of giving all women over 30 in England and Wales judged to be at moderate or high risk of breast cancer access to one of two drugs: tamoxifen or raloxifene. But the study suggests that neither is as effective as anastrozole and both had more side-effects.Professor Jack Cuzick, the lead researcherin the study, called it 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 ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: theguardian.com News Health Society Drugs The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) UK news Breast cancer NHS Science Source Type: news

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