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Study aims to speed approval of breast cancer drugs

When confronted with a diagnosis of breast cancer, a patient's efforts to get treatment can seem like a race against time. But now, breast cancer researchers are claiming that they could accelerate the process by cutting 10 years off the time it takes to approve a drug.

In a new study, about to launch at the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic and 15 other centers nationwide, scientists will compare several experimental drugs and attempt to adapt them for use by breast cancer patients, the Star Tribune reports.

Thanks to new technology, the researchers say they will be able to quickly identify drugs that are effective for patients of a certain age and genetic makeup, and swiftly discard those that have no benefit.

They believe the new process will save about a decade of review before the drugs are approved for use.

"This is really a very novel step forward," said Dr Judy Boughey, a breast cancer surgeon at the Mayo Clinic.

She added that the 10 years the review processes purports to save constitutes a "massive difference" and an immeasurable effect on cost savings.

According to the Mayo Clinic, breast cancer survival rates have increased in part due to early detection, new treatments and a more thorough understanding of the disease.
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