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Clinical trials for breast cancer drugs

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Kitkat
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Clinical trials for breast cancer drugs

Post by Kitkat on Sun 07 Aug 2011, 10:51

I've earmarked this to have a listen to.

Part one of Cancer Trials - Behind The Scenes At The Christie will be broadcast on Radio 5 live on Sunday 7th August from 8.00pm. The second part follows two weeks later on Sunday 21st August at 8.00pm.

"Almost everyone knows someone that has been affected by cancer, so it is vital that clinical trials continue to grow to further improve cancer treatments for all patients around the world. We are working towards a future without cancer and early phase trials are an important contribution to this objective."

Professor John Radford, consultant at The Christie, said the hospital had been at the forefront of cancer research for more than a century.

"Our commitment to clinical trials has led to many advances in cancer research. The life-saving breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, which was first trialled at The Christie more than 40 years ago, is just one of them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14421943



However, I'm not so sure about this.

Breast cancer prevention drugs 'should be prescribed'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12861988


As with everything, there are 'fors' and 'againsts'.

The report suggest that drugs such as tamoxifen and raloxifene should be prescribed to people who do not have cancer, as a preventive measure - just in case, as they just might be at risk of getting it in the future.

However, tamoxifen has been linked with womb cancer, blood clots and stroke

Professor Jack Cuzick, who chaired the panel and is an epidemiologist at Queen Mary, University of London, told the BBC: "The two drugs should be approved in the UK. The evidence for them is overwhelming."

He estimates that for every 1000 women given tamoxifen there would be 20 fewer breast cancers, but there would also be three more womb cancers and six more cases of deep vein thrombosis.

The comments attached to this article are mixed between for and against.
I tend to go with the 'against' comments - (if it's not broke, don't fix it). In fact, I would change that slightly ... If it's not broke, don't meddle with it, cos you could end up breaking it.
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Stardust
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Re: Clinical trials for breast cancer drugs

Post by Stardust on Mon 08 Aug 2011, 14:20

There's a little too much preventive medicine around and screening for this and that. If we had to do it all we'd never be out of hospitals and laboratories, even when we were in perfect health. "Everything in moderation" suits here. So I'm in agreement with you mostly, KitKat, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

As for prescribing medicine as a preventive measure when there's only a hereditary risk factor, but no proof we'll get the disease (whatever it may be) it's up to each person to decide whether they want to take it or not. Someone who is scared of following in a close parent's shoes may prefer to take precautionary steps and that's understandable. Myself, seeing that medication can fix one thing while botching up another that until then had been perfectly ok, I prefer to be very careful what I swallow in that line.

This is a question that everyone faces sometime and we're all different, not just concerning the risk we each have of getting one disease or another, but also our reaction to it and to the prescribed medication. So there can be no general rule; each must decide for him/herself, that's my view.

On the question of clinical trials, if I had already undergone extensive treatment (e.g. to combat cancer) then I wouldn't stop there if I were offered the possibility of trying a trial drug or treatment which might prove to have a positive effect where all else had failed. It just might turn out to be the cure I'd been hoping for. No guarantees, but worth a try?

I'd be interested in reading what others think about this too, KitKat, so I hope we won't be the only ones to respond.


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