BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge in Boston has ordered 14 drug companies into talks that could lead to settlements with 53 women who claim their breast cancer was caused by an anti-miscarriage drug their mothers took decades ago.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler read her ruling in court Thursday following closing arguments on motions by the drug companies to exclude testimony from experts for the women who believe there is a link between DES, or diethylstilbestrol, and breast cancer in DES daughters over 40.

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Bowler rejected those motions and ordered the drug companies to enter mediation with the women.

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The women are suing drug companies who made and promoted DES, a synthetic estrogen, from about 1938 to the early 1970s.

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The drug companies have not said whether they will appeal the ruling.
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