This site is intended for health professionals only


Letrozole better than tamoxifen for breast cancer recurrences, ‘no evidence’ mobiles cause cancer, and pig parts for patients



Researchers found letrozole to be 20% better than tamoxifen at stopping the recurrence of oestrogen-positive breast cancer tumours, over an eight year period, the Telegraph reports. Those taking the letrozole were also 21% likely to die over the same timescale.

The letrozole study looked at results in 8,000 women. It was published in The Lancet Oncology and part-funded by the drug’s manufacturer Novartis.

The authors, led by Dr Meredith Regan, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, US, wrote: ‘On the basis of the available evidence, aromatase inhibitor therapy should be recommended as part of adjuvant treatment for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer.’

The link between mobile phones and cancer has been rejected by a large-scale new study, the BBC reports.

Research based on observation of 350,000 subjects over an 18-year period found no link between mobile phones and brain cancer.  The findings, published on the British Medical Journal website, come after a number of similar investigations came to the same conclusion.

The World Health Organization has continued to warn that mobiles could still be carcinogenic, though only classes them as the same bracket as coffee, and the Department of Health continues to advise that anyone under the age of 16 should keep mobile phone calls short for essential call only.

Lastly, pig-to-human tissue transplants ‘imminent’, according to the Independent.

Human trials could begin within two to three years of tissue taken from specially-bred pigs to help the millions of sufferers from diabetes, brain diseases and blindness.

British commentators have flagged the risk of retroviral diseases such as HIV jumping from donor to recipient.

The US scientists say retroviruses ‘do not pose a substantial risk’, but Robin Weiss, professor of virology at University College London, and an expert on retroviruses said yesterday: ‘I don’t think the risk issues have been resolved. That doesn’t mean clinical trials shouldn’t go ahead but there would need to be very close monitoring of patients to ensure they were not picking something up from pigs.’

Something to think about over tomorrow’s fry-up, anyway.