Mammograms and potent new drugs
contributed to a drop in mortality rates from breast cancer in
the final 25 years of the 20th century, a study in today’s New
England Journal of Medicine found.
Seven teams of statistics experts assessed breast cancer
rates in a study paid for by the National Cancer Institute.
Their results, considered definitive, show that use of both
mammograms and drugs such as AstraZeneca Plc’s tamoxifen and
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Taxol were critical for the drop.
“All seven groups concluded that the decline in the rate
of death from breast cancer is a combination of screening and
therapy and not restricted to one or the other,” said lead
researcher Donald Berry, chairman of biostatistics and applied
mathematics at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in a statement.