Study looks at whether drug can prevent breast cancer from recurring

More than 1,700 post-menopausal women who have been treated with hormonal therapy for more than four years are invited to take part in this clinical trial run by the Australia New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG).

The study examines whether being given the drug Letrozole a year or more after completing hormonal therapy can prevent or delay breast cancer from recurring in postmenopausal women.

It is already known that Letrozole can help to prevent breast cancer from recurring if it is taken soon after diagnosis. The LATER study will determine whether it is effective if taken a long time after diagnosis and after hormonal therapy.

To participate in the study, you must meet the following criteria:
• have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer;
• have been treated with hormonal therapy (eg tamoxifen) for at least four years;
• have completed the hormonal therapy at least one year ago;
• have completed menopause; and
• are currently free of breast cancer.

The LATER study is not open to women who:
• have osteoporosis.
• are using an oestrogen based hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
• have hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol).
• have had another cancer other than breast cancer within the last five years.

Those that participate are selected at random to either take Letrozole or continue with their usual care.

The drug Letrozole has been used to treat breast cancer for many years and is a “aromatase inhibitor”, which means it blocks the production of oestrogen in post-menopausal women. It can be effective in preventing breast cancer because many breast cancers are driven by the hormone oestrogen.

As with all drugs there are some side effects to taking Letrozole Osteoporosis may be more common in women taking the drug. However, all participants in the study will be provided with details about the possible risks of taking letrozole

For further information visit: http://www.anzbctg.org/content.aspx?page=laterpart

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