2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 6, 1998
Drug cuts cancer risks for healthy women
AROUND THE NATI-ON
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A new
study shows that a drug used for years to
treat breast cancer patients also may pre-
vent the disease from occurring, The
Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday.
The National Cancer Institute, a feder-
al agency that coordinates the nation's
,cancer programs, said its six-year study
was the first ever to show that a drug can
reduce the incidence of breast cancer.
The study showed that the drug
tamoxifen cut cancer rates by nearly
half among women who were consid-
ered at risk of getting the disease.
The institute recently mailed letters
announcing the breakthrough to the
13,000 women in the United States and
Canada who participated in the study,
the newspaper reported.
"This is now the first study in the
world to show that a drug can reduce
the incidence of breast cancer," the let-
The results of the study - one of the
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Wednesday, April 15, 1998
largest cancer prevention trials ever
undertaken -- are to be made public
Wednesday. Researchers would not dis-
cuss the results with the newspaper.
"I'm just thrilled. Wow!" Patricia
Lorah of Reading, told the Inquirer on
Saturday after getting her letter. "My
mother and grandmother died of breast
cancer. This is almost overwhelming."
Women at risk of getting the disease
because of family history, precancerous
breast lesions or age were randomly
assigned to five years on either a place-
bo pill or tamoxifen.
The drug, made by Wilmington,
Del.-based Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, is
widely used to prevent the spread or
return of breast cancer.
According to the institute, the drug
reduced the rate of expected breast can-
cers from I in 130 women to I in 236
during the study, the Inquirer reported.
But tamoxifen also has been linked to
increased risks for cancer in the uterine
lining and for blood clots in the lungs.
It's the students'
Those risks prompted The National
Women's Health Network in
Washington to criticize the study.
"If this turns out to be a good risk-
benefit ratio for some women, that will
be good news" said Cindy Pearson,
executive director of the National
Women's Health Network.
But it's "imperative for researchers to
tell women what ... they know about
the cost of this benefit. Did any women
die of anything caused by tamoxifen?"
Tamoxifen slips into estrogen recep-
tors of breast cancer cells and locks up
the cells, preventing them from grow-
ing and dividing.
In 1994, the trial was temporarily sus-
pended during congressional hearings
into four uterine cancer deaths in another
study of breast cancer treatment using
tamoxifen. University of Pittsburgh sur-
geon Bernard Fisher, coordinator of the
prevention trial, also was investigated for
reports that he was slow to address
Clinton feels more free to do his job
WASHINGTON - President Clinton said in an interview released yesterday
that the judge's decision to dismiss the Paula Jones case was in the national inter-
est and will liberate him to focus attention on important issues such as tobacco,
education and Social Security.
"I feel now that I'm freer to keep doing what I'm supposed to be doing,"he said.
"It removes whatever obstacle this case would have been to my giving everythi
to this job for the next two years. Every hour, every minute I spend diverted
these questions is disserving the American people."
In an interview in this week's issue of Time magazine, Clinton said the ruling by
U.S. District Judge Susan Wright "exposed the raw political nature" of the long-
running sexual harassment case and he again denied that he made unwelcome
advances to either Jones or former aide Kathleen Willey. The president declined to
accept any responsibility for his troubles and refused to talk about the criminal
investigation by independent counsel Kenneth Starr.
Still, the comments were the most extended public reaction offered by Clinton
since Wright threw out the case this past Wednesday. The judge concluded that
even if he did make a lewd proposition in a Little Rock hotel suite in 1991, as Jones
charged, such "boorish and offensive" conduct would not constitute sexual har4
ment under the law.
Li uor industry ws
fight over standards
WASHINGTON - Intense lobbying
by the liquor and restaurant industries
helped prevent a House vote on legisla-
tion lowering the threshold of drunken-
ness behind the wheel.
Such laws should be left to the states,
not Washington, says the Republican
committee chair whose panel kept, the
measure off the House floor. But its
Democratic sponsor says the committee
action proves unmistakably that "the
liquor lobby ... put profits ahead of peo-
The legislation was an amendment to
a highway spending bill that would have
taken highway money away from states
that don't enact .08 percent blood alcohol
content levels for drunken driving.
It is shaping up as one of the most
hard-fought drinking issues since the
drive more than a decade ago to make 21
the national legal age for drinking.
A month ago, the Senate passed such
an amendment to its highway bill by a
strong 62-32 vote, and President
Clinton has endorsed a national .08
percent standard that already is in force
in 16 states.
Few of richest are
top political donors
WASHINGTON - Perhaps F s
Fitzgerald had it wrong about the rich
being different from you and me. They're
cheap, too - at least when it comes to
That's the conclusion drawn by the
National Taxpayers Union, which cross-
checked names on the Forbes 400 list
with Federal Election Commission
records to determine how much the
country's wealthiest people gave to polit-
ical parties, political action committa
and congressional and presidential
didates from 1993 through 1997.
The study determined, among other
things, that only 38 members of the
Forbes 400 are on the list of the 400
biggest federal campaign contributors.
Of all the contributions recorded by the
FEC during the 1995-96 election cycle,
only about one-half of 1 percent came
from Forbes 400 members.
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U.S. treatment of
Cuba under attack
BLACK ROCK, Tobago - On the
most tranquil of tropical isles, U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
found herself confronted yesterday with
the harsh reality that even the closest
allies of the United States look askance
at the insistent American isolation of
The issue arose in private talks
Albright had with Prime Minister
Basdeo Panday of Trinidad and Tobago
on the eve of her meeting today with the
foreign ministers of the members of the
Caribbean Community, or Caricom, a
close economic association of Caribbean
While details of the talks here on the
island of Tobago were not disclosed,
Panday told a news conference: "I don't
think Cuba poses the kind of problem it
did when there was a cold war. Caricom
has taken the position that Cuba is a
Asked if Caricom would accept Cuba
as a member, the Trinidadian leader
replied: "If Cuba applies, it will be con-
sidered. We don't see Cuba as a prob-
lem" He said he sensed a softening of
the American position on Cuba, adding
quickly, "But there is the Cuban lobby."
This was a reference to Cuban-Ameri4
organizations that pressure the White
House and Congress to maintain the
trade embargo imposed on Cuba more
than 35 years ago.
may face grimfuture
HANOI, Vietnam--The man-ma
brush fires that are raging again
Indonesia are symptomatic of a wider
regional peril: Southeast Asia's rapid
development is racking up an alarming
toll in environmental destruction.
Pick almost any environmental
topic, from urban pollution to defor-
estation, and Southeast Asia has a track
record that is among the world's worst.
The result eventually could derail the
region's hope to achieve sustainable
development and cause immeasura
global harm, ecologists say.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports.
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