In addition to its role in the 4-OHT gel studies, NCI is sponsoring two additional trials of topical drugs for breast cancer prevention. One trial is testing a gel form of the drug bexarotene (Targretin), and the other is testing a gel form of the drug endoxifen. If the current clinical trials demonstrate the potential of using topical drugs for preventing breast cancer, Dr. Khan plans to investigate additional agents, including topical forms of some drugs that are too toxic for patients to take orally. “We are giving drugs for cancer prevention to healthy women, so there has to be a high standard for safety and tolerability,” said Dr. Khan. For the moment, the researchers are focused on the current 4-OHT gel studies and the recruitment of the few hundred women needed to advance the research.
Source: NCI Seema Khan, M.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine