Navigation Links
Cognitive Skills May Shrink With Tamoxifen
Date:2/11/2010

Breast cancer drug still has lifesaving qualities, expert stresses

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The breast cancer drug tamoxifen -- used for three decades to treat the disease -- appears to affect cognitive abilities, including some types of memory, a new study has found.

"Our results are important for breast cancer patients because intact cognitive functioning is known to be an important precondition for well-being," said study author Christien Schilder, a doctoral student at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.

After a year of taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex), women in the study scored lower on tests of verbal memory functioning and other cognitive skills than did women taking another breast cancer drug, exemestane (Aromasin).

Both drugs are considered hormone (or endocrine) therapy. Tamoxifen interferes with the activity of estrogen, which can promote the growth of breast cancer. Exemestane is an aromatase inhibitor, which decreases estrogen production in postmenopausal women.

Endocrine therapy is offered to many women with breast cancer, and "the choice for a specific endocrine agent and therapy sequence is, among others, based on the safety profile," Schilder said. "Therefore, we think that our results justify continuing research into the cognitive effects of endocrine therapy for breast cancer patients."

Schilder's study, funded by Pfizer, which makes Aromasin, was published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

For the study, the researchers gave neuropsychological evaluations to 299 women, including 179 with breast cancer. Testing was done at the start of the study and again after the women with breast cancer had had a year of hormone therapy -- 80 women taking tamoxifen and 99 taking exemestane.

The researchers found that tamoxifen users had lower scores in verbal memory and executive functioning -- which includes such things as being able to shift attention between two different parts of a task -- than did women without breast cancer. Women taking exemestane had smaller declines in these two areas, considered not statistically significant, compared with the healthy women, Schilder noted.

Those on tamoxifen also fared worse on information-processing speed than the exemestane users, the researchers found.

No substantial differences were found between any of the three groups in terms of visual memory, working memory, verbal fluency, reaction speed and motor speed, according to the study.

Exactly why the tamoxifen users fared worse is not known, Schilder said. "The mechanisms of action of tamoxifen on the brain are hardly known yet," she said, adding that one possibility is that tamoxifen might counteract possible beneficial action of estrogen on the brain.

Dr. Victor G. Vogel, vice president of research for the American Cancer Society, said the results were not surprising. And though the reason women on tamoxifen had more cognitive decline isn't known, he said a logical though unproven explanation is that "it may just not be good for your brain not to have estrogen."

However, Vogel emphasized that it's important to keep the study results in perspective, noting the life-saving benefits of tamoxifen.

According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, "the benefits of tamoxifen as a treatment for breast cancer are firmly established and far outweigh the potential risks."

Said Vogel: "I'll take a little memory loss to keep my patients alive."

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on tamoxifen.



SOURCES: Christien Schilder, doctoral student, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Victor Vogel, M.D., national vice president, research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Feb. 8, 2010, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Drug May Ease Cognitive Effects of Huntingtons
2. Hypertension may predict dementia in older adults with certain cognitive deficits
3. HAPPYneuron Launches the First Online Professional Destination for Clinical Cognitive Training.
4. New compound improves cognitive decline, symptoms of Alzheimers disease in rodents
5. First Global, Virtual Summit on Cognitive Health and Performance Features 200 Sharp Brains
6. Expert Panel Reaches Consensus on Our Ability to Improve Cognitive Health
7. Study finds significantly worse outcomes in cancer patients with cognitive impairment
8. Caffeine doesnt reverse the negative cognitive impact of alcohol, study shows
9. Univalor and Cognitive Sensing Inc. to commercialize 4 University of Montreal discoveries
10. Alzheimer's Foundation of America Applauds Inclusion of Cognitive Impairment Detection in Healthcare Reform
11. Diet, Cognitive Ability May Play Role in Heart Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, the ... affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to ... Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star ... , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered ... both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, ... editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women ... diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate ... that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, ... aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and ... necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing ... thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... date financial data derived from varied research sources to present ... impact on the market during the next five years, including ... sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS , ... students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is ... 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org ... let type 1 diabetes stand in the way of ... has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: