Osteoporosis Drug Shown to Protect Older Women from Breast Cancer
A drug used to treat osteoporosis has been shown to protect older women against breast cancer.
Akinso: A drug used to treat osteoporosis has been shown to protect older women against breast cancer. The Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene, known as STAR, initially showed that the drug raloxifene, currently used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, works as well as tamoxifen in reducing the risk of breast cancer for postmenopausal women. Dr. Leslie Ford, Associate Director for Clinical Research in NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention, discussed the findings at a recent teleconference.
Ford: First let me say this is good news for women. This was a major step in our battle against breast cancer. However even with cutting our breast cancer risk in half it got little use because of the rare but serious side effects that we knew occurred with tamoxifen. Now we've been able to show that raloxifene a drug that's already in widespread use to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women has the additional benefit of preventing breast cancer with fewer serious side effects; virtually no increase in uterine cancer and fewer blood clots and cataracts when compared to tamoxifen. It's estimated that about 150,000 postmenopausal women will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Well we know that no drug risk free, it's because of the government and the National Cancer Institute's investment in prevention clinical trials research over the past 15 years; that women now have now have a new option for taking action to decrease their risk of breast cancer with fewer side effects.
Akinso: Dr. Ford said that although most drugs carry a varying degree of side effects, tamoxifen and raloxifene are vital options for women who are at risk of breast cancer and want to take action. For more information about STAR, visit www.cancer.gov/star. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Leslie Ford
Topic: Breast Cancer