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Study of adjuvant endocrine treatment for breast cancer reveals cost of noncompliance
Date:9/21/2009

Berlin, Germany: The largest study in the world of treatments for post menopausal, hormone positive breast cancer has shown that patients who continue to take exemestane or tamoxifen do significantly better than patients who start to take one or other drug (or tamoxifen followed exemestane) but then stop.

Professor Cornelis van de Velde, principal investigator at the central data office for TEAM (tamoxifen exemestane adjuvant multinational) trial told Europe's largest cancer congress, ECCO 15 ESMO 34 [1], in Berlin today (Tuesday 22 September) that differences in compliance between the nine countries involved in the trial shed light on the role that it played in patient outcome.

"In the Dutch/Belgian part of the TEAM trial, more patients were node positive compared to those in other countries (and were therefore at higher risk of recurrences), because the existing Dutch treatment guidelines (which have since been changed) indicated that only 'high risk' patients should receive chemotherapy, endocrine treatment or both. Yet despite this handicap, recurrences of breast cancer in The Netherlands and Belgium were 12% for patients using tamoxifen and 9% of patients using exemestane compared to 8% and 7% internationally. This is probably due to better compliance with treatment in The Netherlands, which was significantly better than in other countries.

"Across the whole study, up to a cut-off point of two years nine months, non-compliance amongst women on tamoxifen was 19.8% and 12.9% for women on exemestane. However, these percentages were considerably lower in the Dutch/Belgian part of the TEAM trial where non-compliance was 14% for tamoxifen and 9% for exemestane Patients who stopped study treatment (tamoxifen or exemestane) had significantly higher chance of a recurrence; the chance was between four and five times higher among this group than among those who continued their treatment. This underlines the need for good information for pa
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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