Study at Northwestern Medicine Proves Efficacy of Tamoxifen Gel in Breast Cancer

The study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, showed that the gel could prevent growth of breast cancer, with fewer side effects.

A gel form of tamoxifen applied to the breasts of women with noninvasive breast cancer reduced the growth of cancer cells to the same degree as the drug taken in oral form but with fewer side effects that deter some women from taking it, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

Tamoxifen is an oral drug that is used for breast cancer prevention and as therapy for non-invasive breast cancer and invasive cancer.

Because the drug was absorbed through the skin directly into breast tissue, blood levels of the drug were much lower, thus, potentially minimizing dangerous side effects -- blood clots and uterine cancer.

The gel was tested on women diagnosed with the non-invasive cancer ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in which abnormal cells multiply and form a growth in a milk duct. Because of potential side effects, many women with DCIS are reluctant to take oral tamoxifen after being treated with breast-saving surgery and radiation even though the drug effectively prevents DCIS recurrence and reduces risk of future new breast cancer.

Press release: http://bit.ly/WhjAum

Source: Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine