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Drug may help more women survive hereditary breast cancer

International trials of olaparib were stopped early as benefits of ‘groundbreaking’ drug became clear. Photo: Pexels

(Sarah Boseley/ The Guardian) –– Women with hereditary breast cancer, triggered by the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, stand a better chance of survival following successful trials of a drug that cuts the likelihood of the cancer returning after treatment.

A major trial carried out by academic researchers to see whether olaparib can prevent recurrence was stopped early – after two-and-a-half years instead of the planned 10 years – when the benefits of the drug became clear.

The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented online at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, showed it reduced the relative risk of invasive recurrence, second cancers or death by over 40%. (…)

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