London: Two new studies have shown that deaths due to breast cancer can now be reduced, and it won't cost you either.
The studies suggest that two different classes of inexpensive drugs, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and bisphosphonates, could each improve survival prospects for postmenopausal women with early breast cancer. Moreover, the researchers suggest that the two types of drug could be used together, increasing the benefits while also decreasing some side-effects.
Professor Richard Gray, from the University of Oxford, UK, who was the lead statistician for both studies, commented that the studies provide really good evidence that both of these inexpensive, generic drugs could help to reduce breast cancer mortality in postmenopausal women.
He added that about two-thirds of all women with breast cancer are postmenopausal with hormone-sensitive tumours, so they could potentially benefit from both drugs. The drugs are complementary, because the main side effect of aromatase inhibitors is an increase in bone loss and fractures, while bisphosphonates reduce bone loss and fractures as well as improving survival.
The studies are published in The Lancet.