Breast cancer treatment hope from prostate drug

June 27th 2011

A prostate cancer treatment used by men may also be effective in treating some breast cancers, according to new research.

A study conducted by Cancer Research UK and detailed in The Embo Journal highlighted that hard-to-treat breast cancers which are resistant to hormone-based treatments such as tamoxifen may respond to treatments containing male hormones.

If this is the case, then drugs which are already in production could be used to treat women with breast cancer.

Lead researcher Dr Ian Mills said: "This important discovery suggests that patients with a type of oestrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer may potentially benefit from therapies given to prostate cancer patients, which could transform treatment for this patient group in the future."

Overall, it is thought that the male hormone-based therapies could be used to treat five per cent of all breast cancers.

Figures from Cancer Research UK show that there were 48,034 people in the UK diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, accounting for 16 per cent of all cancers.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1. Some oestrogen-negative breast cancer patients may benefit from prostate cancer therapy, Cancer Research UK, June 24th 2011

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