[MOL] Study backs hormone drug in early breast cancer [01722] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Study backs hormone drug in early breast cancer

Study backs hormone drug in early breast cancer
    [09/28/2000; Reuters News Service]

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Many younger women with early-stage breast
cancer can be treated as effectively with the hormone drug goserelin--sold
by AstraZeneca as Zoladex--as with chemotherapy, researchers
reported Wednesday. Chemotherapy is currently the standard treatment
for younger women following initial surgery, but it is associated
with traumatic side effects, such as hair loss and nausea. Goserelin
works by switching off the supply of estrogen that stimulates
cancer cell growth, rather than killing cancer cells directly
as in chemotherapy, and consequently has fewer side effects. ``Our
results show conclusively that goserelin is as effective as chemotherapy
in young women with hormone-sensitive early breast disease,''
Professor Walter Jonat, of the University of Kiel, told the European
Breast Cancer (news - web sites) Conference. ``This means that
physicians and patients now have a real choice in treatment following
initial surgery,'' he said. The study, which included 1,640 women,
found hormone therapy was as effective as chemotherapy in terms
of disease-free survival. Goserelin is already approved for the
treatment of early-stage breast cancer in Germany, Italy and
Japan. AstraZeneca said the new data would now be presented to
other regulatory authorities to allow doctors to use it in early
stages of the disease.

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