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May 4, 2006

Vitamin A drug may help young cancer patients

Topics: Medical Science News

Researchers say that younger breast cancer patients could have their risk of developing a second tumor cut by the drug - fenretinide, a new synthetic version of retinol, or active vitamin A. They found that the drug reduced second cancers in pre-menopausal women by 38 per cent and halved the risk in those under 40, although the cancer rate actually increased among post-menopausal women taking the drug.

The study followed 1,700 women between 12 and 16 years. There were 83 second cancers in the fenretinide group compared with 126 in the control group in pre-menopausal women.

In post-menopausal women, there were 85 new cancers among patients taking fenretinide compared with 64 given an inactive control drug.

These results are promising, but the usual precaution applies, that significantly more research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn.

Companion post by Hyscience

Posted by Richard at May 4, 2006 9:45 PM

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