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Genetic differences may influence joint pain among women taking lifesaving breast cancer drugs
Date:6/1/2010

ore likely to make the decision to stop treatment. Some studies have suggested that women with the most severe symptoms are those with the most complete blockage of aromatase. We want to do everything we can to assure that the women most likely to benefit from therapy don't end it too soon because they are experiencing pain related to their treatment."

In a related study, University of Pennsylvania researchers surveyed 300 breast cancer survivors to assess the impact of AIAA on upper and lower extremity functioning. (Functional disability and aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgia in breast cancer survivors," Abstract #6073) They found that women with AIAA had greater impairment of both upper and lower extremities than those who did not experience these symptoms. As many as 29 percent of participants reported that the pain limited their ability to perform their normal activities.

In a third study, Carrie Stricker, PhD, RN, clinical assistant professor of Nursing and an oncology nurse practitioner, led the team of researchers in surveying 490 postmenopausal, non-metastatic breast cancer patients to assess the factors that influenced their stopping AI therapy prematurely. ("Understanding premature discontinuation of aromatase inhibitors (AI) therapy in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors," Abstract #9156) This is one of only a few studies to analyze the rates at which women discontinue AI therapy and the variables that predict their decision to do so, and the only designed to evaluate patient-reported reasons for ending AI treatment. The study found that 7 percent of the patients studied had discontinued their AI treatment early, at a mean of 15.7 months from the beginning of treatment. The most significant predictors for stopping therapy were a previous history of taking tamoxifen, which can also cause arthralgia and other symptoms; having other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis; communication about difficulties with taking AIs, and
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Contact: Kim Guenther
kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2312
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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