A new study published in Lancet Oncology says that the breast cancer drug letrozole reduces breast cancer recurrence rates and improves survival rates better than tamoxifen, reports The New York Times' Anahad O'Connor. The study involved 8,010 postmenopausal ER+ breast cancer patients who were randomly assigned to receive either letrozole — sold by Novartis under the brand name Femara — or tamoxifen for five years, or both drugs taken in sequence, letrozole for two years followed by tamoxifen for three or vice versa. After a follow-up of about eight years, the researchers found that women given letrozole after surgery had a 20 percent lower risk of breast cancer recurrence and were 21 percent less likely to die from cancer, compared with tamoxifen, O'Connor says. The combination treatment did not significantly lower likelihood of recurrence or death, she adds.
Oct 26, 2011