A 15-year follow-up of women in a breast cancer trial has found that fenretinide – a drug related to vitamin A – significantly cuts the risk of a second breast cancer among younger patients.
The Italian research team reporting the findings on-line today (Thursday 4 May) in Annals of Oncology, are sufficiently convinced of the drug’s protective potential to call for a trial to test its use as a preventive in pre-menopausal healthy women at high risk of the disease. They are now seeking international partners and funding for such a trial.
The women in the long-term follow-up comprised a sub-group of 1,700 – 60% of the patients in a 10-centre trial lead by Professor Umberto Veronesi and co-ordinated by Milan’s Istituto Nazionale Tumori when he was its director. The study, which began in 1987, randomised more than 2,800 women to receive 200 mg fenretinide daily for five years or no extra treatment after surgery for early-stage breast cancer.
Margaret Willson | alfa
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