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    Promising Drugs for Cervical Cancer

    Evista, Faslodex Effective in Animal Studies, Researchers Say

    Drug Treatment for Cervical Cancer: Study Details continued...

    The drugs prevent estrogen from working in the cervical cells, according to the researchers.

    After a month, the researchers looked at the results. Over 90% of those treated with either Faslodex or Evista did not have cancer, Chung says. The drugs also were effective in eliminating precancerous growths.

    "At this point I cannot say whether one [drug] is better than the other," he says.

    Chung says the drugs may one day provide another cervical cancer treatment option.

    Second Opinion

    The real value of the research may prove to be showing experts a more precise model of how cervical cancer develops, says Margaret Madeleine, PhD, an assistant member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and research assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle, who reviewed the findings for WebMD.

    ''There may be more interest in it as a model of how cervical cancer might develop in the presence of birth control pills or [multiple pregnancies], both known risk factors [in HPV-positive women]," she says.

    Ernest Han, MD, PhD, gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif., calls the research finding an interesting concept.

    Overall, he says, ''our detection [of cervical cancer] is pretty good.'' Pap tests look for cervical cell changes caused by HPV so the cancer can be detected early. However, "treatment for advanced cancer and for patients who have recurrences is poor," he says.

    The study, however, has limitations, Han says. It was small. It would be ''a leap" to say this may soon be a treatment for cervical cancer. ''We'd have to see more definitive studies."

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