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
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .