Date Published: 20 October 2005

Sheffield University participates in pioneering breast cancer prevention study

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

The University of Sheffield is taking part in one of the first worldwide breast cancer prevention trials, the International Breast cancer Intervention Study II (IBIS-2). This groundbreaking trial is seen by many experts as the next step in the fight against a disease which affects more than 100 women in the UK every day.

Researchers at the University are using Breast Cancer Awareness month (October) to announce the start of IBIS-2 and to encourage women who are interested in joining the study, to come forward and find out whether they are eligible.

IBIS-2 is investigating whether a breast cancer treatment drug called anastrozole can actually prevent the disease in women who are at higher risk of breast cancer. Previous research on the drug as a treatment for breast cancer showed that it reduced the risk of developing cancer in the opposite breast by over 50% but this will be the first time the drug has been investigated as a preventive measure.

The study is open to women aged 40-70 years old, who have passed the menopause, are not on hormone replacement therapy, have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors (such as certain types of non-cancerous breast lumps).

Professor Rob Coleman from the University of Sheffield's Cancer Research Centre (based at Weston Park Hospital) said:

" We are very happy to be part of such a pioneering study which could prove so important to women who are faced with the knowledge that they are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. We feel that this study has the potential to change many lives as it could lead to several thousand fewer women developing breast cancer each year.

_ It is vital that women who would like to join the study and who think that they may be eligible to come forward and help us to find out more about preventing breast cancer. This study could provide them and future generations with a valuable option in helping to control the disease."

The study will compare anastrozole with a placebo and look at how many women develop breast cancer, as well as any side effects of the drug. Although only half of the women on the study will receive anastrozole, all of the women will receive a bone scan, a mammogram and the best available care.

Women can find out more about whether they are eligible to take part in the study by clicking onto the IBIS-2 website www.ibis-trials.org or by calling Alison Clarke at the Cancer Research Centre on 0114 2265208.

Source(s): Sheffield University, England (UK).

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