The FDA has given a green signal for Femara to be used as a treatment for women past menopause who have initial symptoms of breast cancer. Femara, an already licensed product for medication of advanced breast cancer will now serve a dual purpose. Novartis brought out the announcement of Femara getting US regulatory approval. Researchers claim that femara reduced the risk of breast cancer by 29 per cent in women whose breast cancer had reached the lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis and by 30 per cent for those who had resorted to chemotherapy.
According to the breast international group (BIG) I-98 study aromatase inhibitor Femara (letrozole) is more effective in the treatment of breast cancer as compared to the adjuvant medication of tamoxifen. Femara works to restrict the production of the hormone estrogen responsible for fuelling growth of cancerous tumors after menopause. In contrast, tamoxifen functions by inhibiting the activity of the estrogen by competitively binding to the estrogen receptor.
An analysis of the experiment conducted by researchers where one group was treated with femara and the other group on tamoxifen, revealed an estimated disease-free survival rate in the femara group as 84 per cent while the other group figured at 81.4 per cent. Further the study showcased a considerable reduction in the risk of recurrence and the risk of distant recurrence of the disease in comparison to the tamoxifen group. Moreover, instances of thromboembolism, endometrial cancer, and vaginal bleeding were more frequent in the tamoxifen group whereas women in the femara group had a higher rate of skeletal and cardiac events, and of hypercholesterolemia.
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