CRTC Part of Large Breast Cancer Prevention Trial

May 24, 2006

Contact: Luke Frank, Senior Public Affairs Representative, 272-3679


ALBUQUERQUE , NM UNM's Cancer Research and Treatment Center (CRTC) recently concluded its participation in one of the largest breast cancer prevention trials ever conducted.

CRTC's contribution to the study, comprised of 20,000 postmenopausal women in the U.S. , was results for nearly 100 participants from New Mexico and Colorado . Subjects were randomly assigned one of two drugs and followed for approximately five years.

The drug raloxifene, currently used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, works as well as tamoxifen in reducing breast cancer risk for those most at risk for the disease postmenopausal women. Both drugs reduced the risk of breast cancer by 50 percent, however raloxifene showed fewer of the severe side effects associated with tamoxifen.

According to study results, women taking raloxifene daily had 36 percent fewer uterine cancers and 29 percent fewer blood clots than those taking tamoxifen. Initial results also suggest that raloxifene doesn't increase the risk of developing a cataract as tamoxifen does.

"We've been a part of every phase of this prevention trial since its inception in 1999," says Anne Parsons, CRTC research nurse. "It's exciting that raloxifene has the same prevention success as tamoxifen, without the side effects of uterine cancer and blood clots."

The trial is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. For more information on the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center , or the breast cancer prevention trials, call 272-3679.

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