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Drug “lowers cancer recurrence”


Women likely to have an early recurrence of breast cancer can cut the chances of the disease returning by receiving a drug as part of their chemotherapy, analysis has revealed.

Those at intermediate to high-risk of a recurrence experience a 34% reduction in the chances of the disease returning or death when they receive capecitabine in their chemotherapy regimen, compared to those who do not. The analysis by the Finnish Breast Cancer Group is published in The Lancet Oncology.
The trial compared adjuvant capecitabine in combination with docetaxel and cyclophophamide plus epirubicin for the treatment of early breast cancer with the standard, non-capecitabine regimen. The analysis found those taking the regimen with capecitabine were 36% less likely to have cancer spread to another part of the body.

“I am encouraged by this analysis, which demonstrates that adding capecitabine to the chemotherapy regimen in the early stages of breast cancer may prevent the cancer coming back,” said Helsinki University Hospital’s Professor Heikki Joensuu.

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and the second most common cancer in the world, with 1.1 million new cases diagnosed each year around the world.

Copyright Press Association 2009

The Lancet Oncology

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