Breast cancer prevention
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 18, 2005
A new clinical trial has been launched in the United States and Canada to study the role of an aromatase inhibitor, exemestane, in the prevention of breast cancer.
The drug suppresses estrogen production, a key component in the development of some types of breast cancer. Exemestane could provide an alternative to tamoxifen, the only FDA-approved drug for the prevention of breast cancer, according to researchers.
The study, which is being coordinated by the National Cancer Institute of Canada, will follow more than 4,500 postmenopausal women from the United States, Canada and Spain over five years. The women must also have an increased risk of developing breast cancer as demonstrated by age, family history, age at first menstrual period and age at first live birth.
Aromatase inhibitors are being used to treat breast cancer in women, and results from a study published last year demonstrated that exemestane prevented the occurrence of new cancers in the opposite breast of women who have already had breast cancer, suggesting it may also be able to prevent the disease in healthy women, say researchers.
The National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group is based at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of exemestane, is providing the drug for the trial. For more information, call 800-4-CANCER.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/04/18/hlbf0418.htm.