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Femara better than Tamoxifen?

pamtriggs's picture
Posts: 407
Joined: Sep 2000

Just found this article on Femara on my e-mail provider home page. Has any one any experience with this drug or any more news on it?

Love to all

Femara is more effective than tamoxifen as a first-line treatment for breast cancer in post-menopausal women, say researchers.

It belongs to a class of products known as aromatase inhibitors, which work by blocking an enzyme needed for conversion of androgens to oestrogen, thus preventing tumour growth.

Femara, made by Novartis, which is already indicated as a second-line treatment in the disease, earlier this month won a priority review from US regulators as a first-line treatment.

"This is the first time a hormonal agent has demonstrated clear superiority to the standard treatment, tamoxifen, in one large head-to-head trial," Professor Martine Piccart, chair of the Second European Breast Cancer Conference, told the meeting in Brussels.

Femara was found to delay progression of the disease significantly, increasing the opportunity for breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy).

mjdp2's picture
Posts: 142
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Pam. Just read about this drug in the LA Times this week. Femara seems to block estrogen rather than take on estrogen like properties the way Tamoxifen does. Study involved a little over 900 women. Survival extended an additional 3.4 months with advanced mets breast cancers. US FDA just approved its use as an alternative to Tamoxifen as a treatment standard. Margaret

pamtriggs's picture
Posts: 407
Joined: Sep 2000

Thanks Margaret. I will try to get a copy of the studies to bring it to my oncologist's attention. It will probably be some time before New Zealand approves this drug & even if it does it may not be funded by our health service which means I would have to pay for it and my insurance company would not reimburse me. But hey if Tamoxifen stops working for me I'll happily pay to get the extra time especially if it's quality time. Thanks for the input. Love & hugs. Pam

Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi Margaret:
I am unable to take Tamoxifen because I'm er negative. Do you know if you have to be er positive with Famara also. When I asked my oncol what I will do after radiation. He had no answer for me so I'm always looking for some alternative method ie herbs, vitamins, and whatever I read about that will help me stop cancer cells from growing. Any advise will help. vinnie

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Vinni. From what I know, Femara is similar to Tamoxifin only used more for women post menapause. Therefore you must be estrogen positive. Good luck with your search. Cathy

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