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Study Finds Inexpensive Drugs Kill Breast Tumors

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:01 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Breast Cancer, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Women's Health, Drug Products

British and Finish researchers find a combination of two inexpensive drugs stopped breast tumors.



IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockPhoto/ Woman w. breast cancer bracelets/ author: JBryson


They are inexpensive drugs that may provide hope for breast cancer patients. 

Researchers in the UK and Finland found a common chemotherapy drug and a drug used for osteoporosis patients, worked together to almost completely stop the tumor growth in mice.

The drug, doxorubicin, is commonly used in chemotherapy.  That was given to the mice that had been injected with tumor cells, followed 24 hours later by zoledronic acid which is given to osteoporosis patients.  It has been found effective in enhancing the anti-tumor effect of chemotherapy drugs.

99.99 percent of new cancer cell growth was halted.

Researchers believe the first drug primes the tumor to be more receptive to the second drug with the cancer-cell killing qualities. Dr. Ingunn Holen, study leader says the drug cocktail could “kill breast tumors”.

The study, a joint project between the University of Sheffield and the Kuopio University in Finland because the drugs are already approved, the BBC reports that the drugs could be made quickly available to women.

The Breast Cancer Campaign is the British nonprofit that funded the study. Chief executive Pamela Goldberg says, “The results of this study could change the way breast cancer patients are treated.”

It is not certain how the mouse model will translate in humans but human trials now underway using the same drugs in that particular order and the results should be released later this year

The results are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 

The timing of drugs is an exciting new area of drug research and may be useful in treating breast cancer in its early stages. In the mouse study, the drugs were given the two drugs at the same time and in reverse order, however the doxorubicin followed by the zoledronic acid 24 hours later gave the greatest tumor reduction.

Another advantage is that the cost is about one-twentieth that of Herceptin, commonly given to breast cancer patients.

Every year in the UK 46,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed and in the U.S. 182,000 will be diagnosed. 40,000 women will die from breast cancer, and more than 450 men die annually from the disease.   #

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