Sunday, June 04, 2006

Doctors hail exemestane as the new breast cancer drug

A new type of cancer drug for treating women with breast tumours has produced dramatic improvements in survival rates, it will be revealed tomorrow. Scientists, who will speak at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta, have found that exemestane produced a 15 per cent improvement in survival rates in breast cancer patients when they changed to the drug after taking tamoxifen for two or three years. For decades, tamoxifen has been viewed as the 'gold standard' treatment for post-menopausal women who have undergone surgery for a first breast cancer. This has produced a steady improvement in breast cancer survival rates over the past decade. But the new research suggests the use of exemestane could make greater improvements. 'These results show that switching to exemestane after two to three years of tamoxifen is safe and can improve the cure rate in post-menopausal women with breast cancer,' said Professor Raoul Coombes of Imperial College, London. 'Both drugs can be an important part of therapy for these patients.' Experts say aromatase inhibitors like exemestane will gradually replace tamoxifen. However, exemestane costs about £1,000 per patient per year, 10 times more than tamoxifen. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--


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