Cancer Research UK welcomes new breast cancer drug approval

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK has welcomed a decision by the medical watchdog NICE to make a new class of breast cancer drugs available throughout the UK

The decision grants approval for the use of aromatase inhibitors after surgery for post-menopausal women with early breast cancer instead of or alongside previous "gold standard" drug Tamoxifen.

The drugs suppress the hormone oestrogen, which exacerbates the growth and recurrence of many breast cancers.

"Cancer Research UK is delighted that NICE is recommending the use of aromatase inhibitors, an advanced generation of treatments that build on the success of Tamoxifen," said the charity's medical director, professor John Toy.

"Aromatase inhibitors form a key part of the new battery of treatments available for women with breast cancer, and Cancer Research UK is proud to be playing an active role in their development," he added.

Several major studies in recent years have shown that aromatase inhibitors can significantly improve breast cancer treatment and cut side effects.

In particular, trials have shown that using them alongside Tamoxifen can cut tumour recurrence rates to just 24 per cent.

The decision is preliminary and subject to appeal before final approval is granted in November.

Find out more about hormone therapy for breast cancer