Research released this week has revealed that the prevention drug, tamoxifen – commonly used to prevent breast cancer – has long-term benefits, meaning it carries on working even after a patient has stopped taking it.
Traditionally used to treat breast cancer, the drug was approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for preventative purposes last year, although there has recently been debate about the red tape surrounding it – and other prevention drugs, for that matter
We’ve always championed the benefits of tamoxifen and believe it plays a key role in reducing a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. So, this recent study, which was part-funded by Genesis and was presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium yesterday, is incredibly exciting for us.
The findings from the International Breast Cancer Study I (IBIS I) trial, show that the drug continues to work for around 16 years after the start of treatment, when taken by healthy women at high risk of developing the disease.
While we’ve known about tamoxifen’s preventative benefits for some time, there has been a question mark over how long these effects last. However, these trials have demonstrated that when it’s taken for five years, it goes on working for up to a further 15 years after the patient stops taking it.
This means that, provided we can identify which women are at high risk of breast cancer, we can say with confidence that we have a good chance of preventing the disease for up to 20 years. However, it doesn’t stop here – it may be that in five years’ time, the benefits are still there, and so on.
Despite these successful outcomes though, we still face obstacles in prescribing tamoxifen to women who need it most, as it’s still not fully approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We hope that today’s news will reignite interest in the drug and speed up the approval process, so that it can save countless lives and go some way to creating a breast cancer free future.
Click here to read The Times article.