Hormone Therapy For Ovarian Cancer May Extend Life And Slow Tumor Growth – Letrozole Breast Cancer Drug Cuts Off Oestrogen

Hormone Therapy For Ovarian Cancer May Extend Life And Slow Tumor Growth – Letrozole Breast Cancer Drug Cuts Off Oestrogen

Letrozole

(Best Syndication) British researchers say that hormone therapy can extend life in ovarian cancer patients, thus giving women a new alternative to chemotherapy. Letrozole hormone therapy attacks cancer by turning off its oestrogen supply. If the ovarian cancer is highly sensitive to oestrogen, blocking this mechanism could slow the growth and spread of disease.

The study involved 44 women with high oestrogen receptor (ER) levels, whose cancer had relapsed after surgery and chemotherapy. After six months of anti-oestrogen therapy, one quarter of the women showed no tumor growth. They also discovered that “33 per cent of the group with the greatest ER values showed a positive response which delayed the use of chemotherapy.”

“This is an important landmark in the research and treatment of ovarian cancer”, said John F. Smyth, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Edinburgh, led the research program.

The research has helped scientists discover how the disease works. “Despite intense scientific research over the past 20 years, there have been few new leads in our understanding of how this disease operates,” Smyth says. “But this study suggests that the addition of hormone therapy to our treatment strategy could extend and improve the lives of women with cancer.”

Current treatment involves surgery and chemotherapy, but most ovarian cancers return within two years. Until now, further treatment options have been limited to a second course of chemotherapy, with serious implications for quality of life. It is hoped hormone treatment could offer life-extension with negligible side effects.

Dr Simon Langdon, senior lecturer in cancer research at the University of Edinburgh and the lead scientist behind this trial, said: “Ovarian cancer can be a devastating disease, so this new discovery is particularly exciting. We still have a lot to do, but this research has furthered our understanding of the hormone control of ovarian cancer, which could provide less grueling treatments for cancer patients. It presents new possibilities for tailor-made cancer therapy and demands further investigation.”

Letrozole has also been used to treat breast cancer. The study was published in Thursday’s Clinical Cancer Research.

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By Marsha Quinn
Best Syndication News Health Writer

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