New Drug Deters Breast Cancer Relapses

The original research information about this clinical trial was released online on October 9, 2003, by The New England Journal of Medicine, a month in advance of its scheduled publication date because of its potential therapeutic implications. Two editorial commentaries on the research were also released online concurrently by the Journal.

Summary: The drug Femara (letrozole) has been found in a clinical trial to improve the outcome for patients with breast cancer after tamoxifen therapy has ended. Femara is an aromatase inhibitor. It blocks estrogen production by the adrenal gland. The trial compared the effects of Femara with a placebo (sugar pill). The trial was terminated early because of Femara's documented efficacy and all women in the study were offered Femara.

Our Comments: We are delighted by this exciting and very good news. Among the questions that now need to be answered are:

New medical knowledge brings us into greater contact with the unknown.

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Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com