Oestrogen-blocking drugs 'effective in breast cancer patients'

19 August 2011

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans have proven the effectiveness of oestrogen-blocking drugs in women affected by metastatic breast cancer, new research has shown.

In a study published by Clinical Cancer Research, medical scientists from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance demonstrated how the use of PET scans confirmed the superiority of oestrogen-blocking drugs aiding cancer treatment over oestrogen-depleting aromatase inhibitors.

The PET scans showed tumour uptake decreased markedly through blocking drugs compared to depleting ones (a decline of 54 per cent versus 15 per cent respectively).

"What we're suggesting in the paper - that we couldn't fully test for before - is if oestrogen is incompletely blocked you're not getting a good outcome for the patient," said breast oncologist Dr Hannah Linden.

The findings have implications for personalised cancer treatment worldwide and will help to speed up the drug development process.

For women undergoing breast-conserving surgery as part of their battle with the disease, recent research in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal concluded that breast augmentation such as lipofilling was safe to use.

The procedure, where the bosom is contoured using fat from elsewhere on the patient's body, was shown to not affect radiologic follow-up after procedures like a mastoplexy.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 Linden, Hannah M., "Fluoroestradiol Positron Emission Tomography Reveals Differences in Pharmacodynamics of Aromatase Inhibitors, Tamoxifen, and Fulvestrant in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer". Clinical Cancer Research. Friday July 15th 2011.

2 Petit, Jean Yves, et al., "The Oncologic Outcome and Immediate Surgical Complications of Lipofilling in Breast Cancer Patients: A Multicenter Study—Milan-Paris-Lyon Experience of 646 Lipofilling Procedures". Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal. Wednesday July 27th 2011.

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