Extended hormonal drugs treatment could cut breast cancer risk’s recurrence

Extended hormonal drugs treatment could cut breast cancer risk’s recurrence

Results of a clinical trial have unveiled that the hormonal drugs taken for up to 15 years can lessen the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Benefit was noticed in women who were taking the drug called letrozole, part of a class of estrogen-reducers called aromatase inhibitors.

The findings based on the assessment of 1,918 patients could considerable change treatment for millions of women given the fact that 1.7 million women across the globe are diagnosed with breast cancer on annual basis.

But the treatment also involves risks, including osteoporosis. Researchers said that around 80% of the tumors are fueled by the female sex hormone, oestrogen. The trial was carried out on post-menopausal women. In it, aromatase inhibitor treatment was doubled from five to 10 years.


There were many women who have started taking other hormonal drugs before they started taking aromatase inhibitors. Study’s co-researcher Prof Paul Goss from Massachusetts General Hospital said, “Aromatase inhibitors are now readily available around the world and therefore our results will further improve the outcome of women with breast cancer globally”.

The study’s result was great as 95% of women continued to be cancer-free if they had taken extra medication than with 91% of those who did not. Side effects of the treatment included loss of libido, hot flushes and vaginal dryness. The treatment also increased the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Dr Nick Turner, a breast cancer specialist from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said that it would be a big thing to bring changes in treatment for so many women. Turner said that extended letrozole in 10 to 15 years has benefit in preventing a new breast cancer diagnosis.


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