26 October 2001 News Update
IMPROVED ACCESS TO BREAST CANCER TREATMENT
The Ministry of Health has approved the use of Femara (letrazole) as first-line therapy in post-menopausal women with advanced breast cancer to reduce the risk of the recurrence and prolong survival following surgery.
Previously Femara could only be offered after treatment with tamoxifen had failed.
The move follows major study results released earlier this year that showed Femara is more effective than tamoxifen as first-line treatment therapy for breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Dr Martine Piccart, chair of the European breast cancer committee and associate professor of oncology at the Free Hospital, Brussels, said the Femara findings are impressive and are likely to have a major impact on established treatment protocols in breast cancer.
Femara, an aromatase inhibitor, acts by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, blocking the conversion of androgens to oestrogen, thus arresting tumour growth.
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