New Drug May Be Effective in Treating Breast Cancer
Studies presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium indicate that a new class of hormone therapy may replace Tamoxifen in the treatment of certain types of breast cancers. In post-menopausal women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer and also in post-menopausal women with estrogen-receptor and HER-2 positive breast cancer, data suggests that Femara, a drug developed by the Swiss Pharmaceutical company Novartis, is more effective than the commonly used Tamoxifen in shrinking tumor growth. More importantly, in randomized-double blind studies, paid for in part by Novartis, Femara offered a better survival advantage than Tamoxifen. Side effects are essentially the same for both drugs. Femara is an aromatase inhibitor, a drug that prevents the hormone androgen from being converted to estrogen. Tamoxifen is an anti-estrogen, a drug that blocks the effects of already-existing estrogen from exerting its effects at the cellular level.
Research indicates that all breast cancer is not created equal. Future treatment plans will become more and more individually tailored as scientific advancements reveal more about the particulars of certain types of breast cancer. Therefore, it is critical that basic research and clinical trials continue in order to provide maximal therapeutic options for all women.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has launched an emergency campaign for mifepristone (also known as RU-486 and the abortion pill), an important anti-progesterone drug that blocks the effects of progesterone, at the cellular level. Preliminary studies indicate that mifepristone may be effective in treating certain types of breast cancer. Much basic research and clinical trials have come to a standstill however because anti-abortion forces have made it extremely difficult for scientists to even procure the drug to explore its exciting non-abortion medical potential.
Media Resources: Novartis; Associated Press, 12/11/01; Feminist Majority Foundation
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .