01/10/2013 02:31 EST | Updated 03/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Settlement reached in Boston lawsuit claiming mom's pregnancy drug caused 4 daughters' cancer

BOSTON - A settlement in a Massachusetts lawsuit by four sisters who say their breast cancer was caused by a drug their mother took during pregnancy in the 1950s is being praised by other women who have brought scores of similar claims.

Eli Lilly reached an undisclosed financial settlement Wednesday in a case brought by the Melnick sisters. They believe their breast cancer was caused by a synthetic estrogen known as DES, which was prescribed to millions of women to prevent miscarriages.

The sisters' case was the first to go to trial out of dozens filed nationwide.

Eli Lilly says it believes its medication "did not cause the conditions alleged in this lawsuit," but the settlement was in its best interest.

Irene Sawyer, of Columbus, Ohio, calls the settlement a "huge victory."