Osteoporosis drug shows potential for preventing breast cancer

An existing drug used to treat osteoporosis and other conditions affecting the bones appears able to prevent breast cancer in certain high-risk women.

If the drug’s new promise pans out, women carrying the BRCA1 gene mutation made famous by Angelina Jolie will have a better option than undergoing preventive double mastectomy—or doing nothing.

The drug is denosumab. The research behind the finding was carried out at the Walter+Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia, which publicized it June 21: