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Breast cancer treatment “shortened”


University scientists have discovered that a commonly used drug combination given to breast cancer patients is just as effective over a six-week treatment period as it is over a six-month course.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield found that a six-week combination of doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug commonly given to stop tumour growth, and zoledronic acid, a well-tolerated treatment given to protect bone in advanced breast cancer, shrank tumours in mice to a barely detectable size. A six month course of treatment produced the same results.

The research, funded by Breast Cancer Campaign, follows on from a previous study by a team at Sheffield University’s Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, which found similar results.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Cancer, could have significant implications for the treatment of breast cancer patients, potentially reducing the amount of time they are required to undergo treatment.

Although the researchers have been encouraged by the results, they said that more research was needed to determine whether a prolonged course of treatment was still needed to reduce the chances of tumours growing back.

Copyright Press Association 2010

Breast Cancer Campaign

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