Navigation Links
10 Years of Tamoxifen Better Than 5: Study
Date:12/5/2012

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) --Taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen for a decade, instead of the standard five years, further reduces the long-term chances of recurrence and risk of dying from the disease, new British research suggests.

The increase in benefit is especially noticeable after the 10th year, said study author Richard Peto, a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford.

Tamoxifen is widely used for treating estrogen receptor or ER-positive breast cancer in women who are pre-menopausal. ER-positive cancers need estrogen to grow, and the drug blocks the activity of estrogen in the breast.

Currently, tamoxifen is usually given daily for five years after a cancer is treated. Doctors have known that five years is more effective than two, and that it reduces the rate of death from breast cancer by about a third in comparison to not taking it, and that it does so for 15 years after the diagnosis.

In the new study, the researchers wanted to see if longer treatment would be even better. They compared results in women who took tamoxifen for five years and 10 years.

A decade was better.

"It's been one moderate therapeutic advance after another," Peto said.

The new research is to be presented Wednesday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and published simultaneously in The Lancet.

In the new study, Peto's team looked at nearly 13,000 women who had already taken the drug for five years.

The women were assigned to continue the drug for another five years or to stop taking it. For the analysis, the researchers focused on the 6,846 women who had ER-positive breast cancer, as the main benefit of tamoxifen is thought to be for them. Of these, about half kept taking the drug and half did not.

After about eight years of follow-up, there were 617 recurrences in the drug group and 711 in the group that had stopped. While 331 in the drug group died of breast cancer during follow up, 397 in the group that stopped died.

The risk of breast cancer death five to 14 years after the diagnosis was slightly over 12 percent among those who stayed on the drug versus 15 percent among those who stopped.

The follow-up is continuing, Peto said. "We are going to follow for another five years, to see what happens," he said. "I think there will probably be future gain."

Will tamoxifen end up being a lifetime drug, once it is prescribed? "No, because tamoxifen has side effects," Peto explained.

The side effects are well documented -- an increased risk of cancer of the uterus and blood clots in the lungs are major ones. In the study, those who continued on the drug had higher risks of both conditions. However, the risks were outweighed by the reduction in death risk, the researchers added.

The research will be practice-changing, said Dr. Joann Mortimer, director of the Women's Cancers Program at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Duarte, Calif.

"Whether women will allow it to change practice remains to be seen," she said, referring to the reluctance of women to take anti-cancer drugs like tamoxifen. Compliance is ''atrocious," she said.

Women stop the drug for many reasons, she said, including side effects.

Even so, she said, the new research is reason enough for women who may benefit from tamoxifen to talk to their doctor about it, Mortimer said.

The study was funded by AstraZeneca, which makes tamoxifen, as well as Cancer Research U.K., Medical Research Council, the U.S. Army and the European Union.

More information

To learn more about tamoxifen, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Joanne Mortimer, M.D., director, women's cancers program, City of Hope, Duarte, Calif.; Richard Peto, professor, medical statistics and epidemiology, University of Oxford, U.K.; Dec. 5, 2012, presentation, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; Dec. 5, 2012, The Lancet


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
2. Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects May Last for Years
3. Life expectancy and healthy life years in the European Union, 2008-2010
4. Measles Outbreaks in 2011 Were Worst in 15 Years: CDC
5. 16 years old is peak risk for teens misusing prescription drugs
6. NAMS journal Menopause reflects on the WHI 10 years later
7. After 25 years, World No Tobacco Day is making an impact
8. Elreg Distributors Ltd. Celebrates 32 Years in Business
9. Weight-Loss Surgery Cuts Heart Risk 7 Years Later: Study
10. For Combat Vets, Brain Injury Symptoms Can Last Years
11. New Electronic Cigarette Free Trial Kit Adds More Years to Smokers Life by Making it Easy to Quit Smoking
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
10 Years of Tamoxifen Better Than 5: Study
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... A national ... Congress and Expo event March 9-11, 2016. Hosted by Ohio's Bureau of Worker's ... , As the longest running and largest worker's compensation event in Ohio, organizers ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224, February 26th: Amateur & Professional Divisions - ... - Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm | Ticket Prices $30, Social Media: ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Anxiety of older Americans over ... of Medicare Part D a decade ago, according to The Senior Citizens League ... on how they are coping with rapidly rising costs. “The implications are chilling, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... According to ... witnessing a dramatic increase in the number of patients under the age of 30. ... they are seeing in their offices, and may indicate an overall shift in the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... February 09, ... ... is now providing treatment to Medicaid beneficiaries who are diagnosed with autism spectrum ... state of Nevada. Autism treatment using applied behavior analysis (ABA) is key ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 ... new market research report "Pharmaceutical Packaging Equipment Market by ... Labeling & Serialization), by Product Type (Tablet, Powder, Cream, ... published by MarketsandMarkets, studies the global market during the forecast ... to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% during the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... India , February 10, 2016 ... The "Personalized Medicine, Targeted Therapeutics and Companion Diagnostic ... Trends, Technologies, Participants, and Environment" research report indicates ... worth over $149 billion by 2020 growing at ... up of companion diagnostics and targeted therapeutics and ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016  Misonix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSON ), ... and markets innovative therapeutic ultrasonic products for spine ... laparoscopic surgery and other surgical applications, today announced ... first half of fiscal year 2016 ended December ... --> Highlights for the second quarter ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: