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:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has ... 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their ... Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart ... electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits ... structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Diagnostics The World Market for Companion Diagnostics ... diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: