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Clinical testing hints at new treatment for cervical cancer

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

In clinical testing, two drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer eliminated cervical cancer in mice.

A study which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined mice that were given the breast cancer drugs fulvestrant and raloxifene, both of which work by preventing estrogen from functioning in cells, HealthDay News reports. The mice where genetically engineered to carry HPV, an STD strongly linked with cervical cancer.

The drugs cleared precancerous growths in the cervix and prevented cancer in mice with precancerous lesions, according to the research.

"We have begun to test whether the drugs are as effective in treating cervical cancer in human cells as they are in our mice," said the study's lead author, Dr Paul F. Lambert of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. He added, "There are many similarities in how cervical cancer develops and manifests itself in women and in mice."

Lambert explained that nearly all cervical cancers test positive for HPV.

Because cervical cancer is asymptomatic in its early stages, doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend STD and cancer testing for early detection of the disease.
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