latest health care news

25.06.13

NICE recommends tamoxifen for women at risk of breast cancer

Healthy women with a family history of breast cancer could be prescribed cancer drugs for five years, under new guidance published by NICE.

Anti-oestrogen drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene have been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer, but are not yet licensed for this use in the UK. The course of drugs could be offered to women with a three-in-ten chance of developing breast cancer, and considered for those with a one-in-six chance.

Women with a 10% risk of inheriting one of the two genes that lead to a particularly high chance of developing breast cancer will be offered genetic screening. NICE said it would be cost effective to screen even more women, but the NHS did not yet have the capacity to do it.

Professor Mark Baker, director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE, said: “Our updated guideline now gives women more options in how they manage their risk of breast cancer; those with a ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ risk of developing breast cancer because of their family history but who have not had the disease themselves can now be offered tamoxifen or raloxifene for five years to prevent it.

“Although neither drug is licensed as a preventative treatment in the UK, clinical evidence shows they are an effective option for many women and could be preferable to surgery.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign, said: “This is a truly historic moment in the treatment of women at increased breast cancer, as we are witnessing a fundamental change of clinical practice driven by medical research.

“We strongly welcome NICE's decision to recommend chemoprevention treatments and a broadening of access to genetic testing and surveillance. Having varied options available to women at an increased risk enables more effective prevention, detection and treatment of the disease.”

Professor Gareth Evans, a consultant in clinical genetics at St Mary's Hospital and member of the Guideline Development Group, said: “The whole guideline is a major move forward in that more women than ever before now face the possibility of doing something tangible to reduce their risk of breast cancer. That can only be a good thing.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

12/08/2020Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers Last week the NHS was widely described as providing a ‘Covid-19 only’ service for much of the last few months. Fr... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >