WASHINGTON(WUSA9) -- New drugs and recommendations are being added to the fight against breast cancer. Two drugs -- one for prevention and the other for therapy -- have been proven to help stop the disease.
Anastrozole, a preventative drug, can help lower a woman's chances of getting breast cancer by 53 percent. The drug works by halting estrogen production in women who have already been through menopause. Lower estrogen means a lower risk for estrogen-related cancer, which accounts for 80 percent of breast tumors.
The preventative medicine is being recommended for women who have a family history of the disease or calcium deposits in their breast tissue.
The second drug targets women who already have breast cancer. Endoxifen works to stop tumor activity and provides an option for women who don't respond to other hormonal therapies.
Dr. Matthew Goetz of Mayo Clinic led the study on Endoxifen. His team monitored 22 women who took the medicine daily, and found the drug to be safe even at high doses.
"In women who had failed standard hormonal therapies, there are a number of patients who had partial response... that is, their cancer was under good control for over a year," Goetz said. "So overall we're very encouraged and looking forward to the next steps."
Endoxifen is still in its trial period, and researchers are determining the most effective dosage.
The new drugs have an edge over older hormonal therapies like Tamoxifen, which has been known to cause side effects like endometrial or uterine cancer.
Anastrozole and Endoxifen were presented at the 36th annual Breast Cancer Symposium in San Antonio.
Also featured at the convention were new recommendations for radiation therapy. Research out of the Edinburgh Cancer Research Center shows women over 65 may not need radiation. In a study that looked at hundreds of older women with breast cancer, researchers found no difference in overall survival for women with or without radiation.
This year's Symposium has featured more than 7,000 physicians, researchers and advocates from all over the world. It runs through Saturday.