Major US breast cancer drug trial disappoints
Saturday 11 December 2010
A major trial that aimed to see if a common bone-strengthening drug could help prevent recurrences of breast cancer found it did not benefit most patients, doctors said Thursday.
The five-year study, known as the AZURE trial, followed 3,360 women with advanced breast cancer who had already undergone surgery.
The study randomly assigned some to take the osteoporosis drug Zometa, also known as zoledronic acid, in addition to standard therapy. Zometa is made by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.
The hope was that it would prevent cancer from resurfacing, as it often does, in a survivor's bones.
But the American Association for Cancer Research said the drug was found to have no impact on "disease-free survival" for the group as a whole.
"In the larger population, we did not see a difference," said Robert Coleman, professor of medical oncology at the University of Sheffield in England, who presented the results at a conference in San Antonio, Texas.
He added, however, that there was a slight difference across age groups, with older patients faring slightly better on the drug.
The 30 percent of the group who were post-menopausal by at least five years, 1,101 in all, saw a 29 percent improvement in overall survival, which was "unlikely to be a chance finding," Coleman said.
"We will clearly want to investigate further in this population."
He added, however, that "the young patients are getting no benefit. If anything they are doing worse."
Zoledronic acid is a bisphosphonate that works by lowering the amount of calcium released by the bones into the blood.
It is used to treat high blood calcium levels that can coincide with cancer and also to prevent fractures in patients with cancer.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6 'catches on fire and burns man's leg after bending in his pocket'
The hoverboard is real, and it could give rise to hoverhouses
Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Lynda Bellingham dead: Bowel cancer - what is it and what are the symptoms?
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£36000 - £60000 per annum: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client are a we...
£22000 - £32000 per annum + TLR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client is...
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...