Letrozole the more effective breast cancer drug

October 20, 2011 7:59:51 PM PDT
A new drug could help to save lives in the battle of breast cancer.

A 12-year study is proving that Letrozole is more effective at preventing the return of the disease compared with Tamoxifen.

For the millions of women battling breast cancer, according to researchers, the drug Letrozole is providing encouraging and potentially lifesaving results.

"We have very clear evidence that Letrozole for 5 years provides a benefit a reduction in mortality for women," said Dr. Meredith Regan, author of the study.

The drug may help some women diagnosed with breast cancer live longer.

That's what studies have shown after 12 years of trials.

According to researchers, women given Letrozole after surgery for five years had a 20% reduced risk of their breast cancer coming back.

They were also 21% less likely to die compared with women given Tamoxifen alone.

"This is really the first study where you see a survival benefit across the board," said Dr. Linda Vahdat, of the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center.

Dr. Vahdat of the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center in Manhattan says she has been prescribing Letrozole for 10 years.

She says women diagnosed with breast cancer who take the drug may experience side effects.

The drug can cause Osteoporosis or bone loss and it may lead to muscle and joint aches.

"I'd say net net the benefit outweighs the risk, what are their goals of therapy," Dr. Vahdat said.