A GROUP of Huddersfield women have boosted breast care all over the world by taking part in a ground-breaking study.
Breast cancer patients at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary were among 400 across the UK to test the benefits of the drug Femara.
Femara is a drug taken orally, once a day by patients.
The study - carried out across 11 hospitals in the UK - showed that it helped reduce the chances of cancer returning.
Results of the trials were released today.
And the tests showed that patients treated with Femara had a much better chance of recovery than some patients treated with Tamoxifen, a well-known drug.
The results were particularly impressive for women at higher risk.
The study results have meant that Femara has now been given official approval to be used in the post surgery treatment of early breast cancer.
Nigel Bundred, a professor in surgical oncology at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, said: "These results are fantastic news and give hope to women with breast cancer - especially those at high risk of their cancer recurring.
"They show that Femara is more effective than tamoxifen when given to women after surgery and offers even greater advantages to these particularly vulnerable women."
Liz Caroll, from charity Breast Cancer Care, said: "These results further suggest the benefits of using aromatase inhibitors over tamoxifen in treating early invasive breast cancer and indicate that many more lives could be saved.
"Many women, like those we support, with breast cancer will welcome the news that they might benefit from this new treatment option, as will the healthcare professionals treating them."
Femara is a type of drug called an aromatase inhibitor which stops the natural production of oestrogen - the hormone that is responsible for the growth and recurrence of many breast cancers.
There has been concern recently that cancer patients in some areas are being denied access to the newest drugs because of financial concerns of NHS trusts.