Drug May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence

Novartis AG said on Wednesday that its breast cancer pill Femara is more effective than the current standard treatment tamoxifen in reducing the risk that the cancer will return to older women after surgery. Femara is the second drug in a new class of hormone-based breast cancer treatments to have shown an advantage in trials over tamoxifen, made by AstraZeneca under the brand name Nolvadex, but the class -- known as aromatase inhibitors -- has yet to show they help patients live longer. In data released at a conference in St Gallen on Wednesday, Novartis said Femara also helped more post-menopausal women remain free of the cancer in the five years after surgery.

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