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 Post subject: Osteoporosis drug cuts breast cancer risk
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:45 pm 
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Osteoporosis drug cuts breast cancer risk

* 18:25 18 April 2006
* NewScientist.com news service
* NewScientist.com staff and AFP


The drug raloxifene, usually prescribed for osteoporosis, reduces the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by about 50%, according to a new study.

Clinical trials of raloxifene, sold by Eli Lilly as Evista, cut breast cancer risk by the same rate as tamoxifen, an anti-breast cancer drug sold by AstraZeneca under the trade name Nolvadex. Overall, raloxifene resulted in a similarly low level of side effects as the widely used tamoxifen, the 19,000-woman study showed. But it had some advantages for specific side effects.

The tests also indicated that using raloxifene weekly over four years reduced the risk of cancer of the uterus by 36% and blood clots by 29%, as compared to tamoxifen.

The study compared the effects of the two drugs on a population of women averaging 58 years of age. The trials were carried out as part of the US National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and were financed by the US National Cancer Institute, which published the results.

Tamoxifen is currently the only treatment approved by the US Federal Drug Administration to block breast cancer among premenopausal and postmenopausal women with higher risk profiles for the disease. It was approved in 1998.


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