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Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen
Date:6/16/2010

rapy is also thought to increase the risk of TEs by decreasing coagulation inhibitors and damaging vascular endothelium. However, even though half the women in this study had also received chemotherapy, the study showed no statistically significant difference in chemotherapy exposure between the women who developed TEs and those who did not. So chemotherapy, the researchers concluded, was unlikely to explain the prevalence of the FVL mutation among women with TEs in this study. The risk of TE was also associated with smoking and family and personal history of TEs.

The researchers also concluded that: "These data may prove useful to women who must decide between tamoxifen and an effective, essentially non-thrombogenic, alternative adjuvant therapy for breast cancer, such as aromatase inhibitors for postmenopausal women and gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs or oophorectomy for premenopausal women."

According to the authors, the study's limitations include lack of family history data on TE and other hereditary factors leading to coagulopathies. The researchers also did not collect data on other potential TE risk factors, such as body mass index and recent surgery.

In an accompanying editorial, Jack Cuzick, Ph.D., of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said that why the FVL mutation is associated with TEs among breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen but not among people taking tamoxifen preventively "remains a mystery."

"Continued follow-up and research on the relationship between the FVL mutation and tamoxifen, especially in the prevention setting, will be the only way to clarify these apparently contradictory settings," Cuzick said.


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Contact: Kristine Crane
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1285
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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