Skin Gel Provides Breakthrough in Fight Against Breast Cancer

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Tamoxifen has shown itself to cause less side effects when applied topically.

A paper published Tuesday, July 15, in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, has revealed an exciting new development in the war on cancer. A commonly used cancer drug, tamoxifen, has shown itself to be equally effective as the traditional pill form in reducing the growth of cancer cells in women with noninvasive breast cancer when applied as a gel. After topically applying tamoxifen to women suffering from ductal carcinoma in situ for six to 10 weeks, the results were comparable to those of women with the same ailment who took the medication orally for the same length of time.

The real breakthrough here, though, is that the gel had far fewer side effects during testing than its orally administered counterpart. While orally ingested tamoxifen has side effects ranging from hot flashes and vaginal dryness to blood clots and uterine cancer, the gel has shown significantly fewer instances of negative effects across the board. According to The Washington Post, Seema Khan, a surgical oncologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, says this has to do with the localization of the drug.

"There was very little drug in the bloodstream, which should avoid potential blood clots as well as an elevated risk of uterine cancer," Khan told the source.

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