Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: June 24

In the news today the FDA says silicone implants appear to be safe. Also, a possible shortage of a mainstay breast cancer chemotherapy, and the possibility of a topical gel form of tamoxifen that might eliminate side effects that keep some patients from using the drug.

Silicon Implants: So Far So Good

Silicone breast implants were banned in 1992 based on health concerns but then were reintroduced into the market in 2006. Yesterday FDA officials claimed that, based on research performed since 2006, their decision to reintroduce the products seems to have been the right one. The research was performed by the manufacturers. Last year 60% of breast implants were silicone-based rather than saline-based. You can find all of these stories on our Breast Implant page.

A Possible Shortage of Taxol (paclitaxel)

Taxol is one of the most commonly used breast cancer chemotherapeutics. It's used to treat early stage, locally advanced and metastatic disease. A report from claims that some hospitals are finding it difficult to get enough of the drug. The degree of the shortage is unclear, as is the reason. Find the article on our Taxol page.

Tamoxifen the Gel

Researchers at Northwestern University are conducting a clinical trial of a gel form of tamoxifen that might very well avoid some of the major side effects of the tablet: namely, blood clots, uterine cancer and hot flashes. In theory, a gel would concentrate the drug in the breast and minimize exposure to the rest of the body. This could be very good news, especially for the many women at high risk who choose not to take the drug based on their concerns about these side effects. The article does not say when the drug might be available assuming positive trial results. The article will be the first News Article listed on's Tamoxifen page.

Next update: Monday June 27. Enjoy the weekend!

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