For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary DeLucco
Breast Cancer Action
(415) 243-9301 ext. 16
San Francisco, CA—Breast Cancer Action (BCA) (www. bcaction.org) announced today its support for the National Cancer Institute’s decision not to go ahead with the P-4 chemoprevention trial (STELLAR).
“It’s a great day for women’s health,” says BCA Executive Director Barbara A. Brenner.
The trial would have randomly assigned healthy women who are at high risk for breast cancer to receive either raloxifene or letrozole (an aromatase inhibitor) for five years. In addition to long-held concerns about attempts to prevent breast cancer with pills, BCA is opposed to this trial in particular, based on information it has obtained about the side effects of aromatase inhibitors (AI), including letrozole, in women with breast cancer.
“We are concerned that pills to ‘prevent’ breast cancer will always result in disease substitution,” says Brenner.
In a written statement announcing its decision today, NCI said the dangers of the drugs outweigh their benefits and said the agency was committed to finding options that “do not ask otherwise healthy people to trade cancer risk for the increased risk of other serious health conditions.”
“NCI Director Niederhuber has today put public health first, protecting many women from the potentially dangerous side-effects of powerful drugs. We applaud his decision,” says Brenner.
Breast Cancer Action is a national grassroots education and advocacy organization that carries the voices of people affected by breast cancer to inspire and compel the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic.
Since 1998, BCA has refused to accept funds from corporations that may create a real or apparent conflict of interest for BCA. Corporations covered by this policy include pharmaceutical companies.