Two of the most promising breast cancer drugs are raloxifene and lapatinib, according to researchers who revealed their findings at he European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-5). Raloxifene is a drug that was first developed to treat osteoporosis in women.
It belongs to a class of drugs called selective benzothiophene oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM) and exerts an anti-estrogen effect. Hence it's use in breast cancer. In the trials where raloxifene was used as an osteoporosis drug, it also appeared to prevent the formation of new hormone dependant breast cancers. The MORE (The Multiple Outcomes of Raloxifene Evaluation) study, which evaluated 7,705 women by either administering raloxifene or placebo to a group. The results of this trial are awaited. Another trial that aims to test the efficacy of raloxifene was conducted on 20,000 postmenopausal women in the US. The results of this trial are also awaited. However, women taking raloxifene are known to have an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism as side effects. Another drug that is exciting researchers is lapatinib, which is given orally. The molecule is a subset of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFR). Preliminary results suggest that the drug could kill cancer cells that are not killed by other breast cancer drugs. Dr F. Cardoso from the Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels, who is involved in the drug research said, "Raloxifene and lapatinib are exciting new drugs which will be of interest in prevention and treatment of breast cancer patients in the future."
Contact: EBCC-5 Press Office
Federation of European Cancer Societies