FDA Pushes to Involve More Men in Breast Cancer Trials

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The FDA is urging pharmaceutical companies to include more men in clinical breast cancer trials.

According to the National Cancer Institute, male breast cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of all cases of the disease. Nonetheless, it still does occur in males, and this seems to be the rationale behind the Food and Drug Administration's recent push for pharmaceutical producers to include men in clinical trials. Tatiana Prowell, a breast cancer scientific lead with the FDA's Office of Hematology and Oncology Products, indicated the FDA's stance.

"Men have historically been excluded from breast cancer trials," Prowell told the Economic Times. "We are actively encouraging drug companies to include men in all breast cancer trials unless there is a valid scientific reason not to."

Though it may seem unorthodox, including men in these clinical trials provides considerable research benefits. In addition to spreading awareness of the occurrences of breast cancer in men, changing research practices will also encourage study of what bearing gender has on different treatment methods. This knowledge could be valuable not only to breast cancer patients but to the field of oncology as a whole. Prowell went on to stress the importance of exploring the issue.

"It is possible that successful treatments could differ between genders," Prowell​ told the source. "We would not know until more men are included in breast cancer clinical trials."

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