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

tients concerning the side-effects of drugs and treatment efficacy," said Prof van de Velde, who is Professor of Surgery at the Leiden University Medical Centre (Leiden, The Netherlands) and President of the European Society of Surgical Oncology. Compliance with medication in the TEAM study was lower than in any previous study of adjuvant aromatase inhibitors.

The TEAM study is a randomised phase III clinical trial comparing the efficacy of the aromatase inhibitor exemestane versus the current "gold standard" treatment tamoxifen as adjuvant endocrine therapies for hormone sensitive early breast cancer in postmenopausal women. After two years nine months a total of 9,779 women had been included in the trial from nine countries: France (1230 patients), Germany (1480), Greece (211), Japan (184), The Netherlands (2753), Belgium (414), UK/Ireland (1275), and the USA (2232).

The trial was started in 2001 but in 2004, based on results from another trial (Intergroup Exemestane Study) that showed a significant survival advantage for patients on exemestane, the TEAM study was changed so that patients receiving tamoxifen were switched to exemestane after having been in the trial for between two and a half to three years. The results presented today relate to data on disease-free survival in patients on the trial for no longer than two years nine months and they focus particularly on issues of compliance in the Dutch/Belgian TEAM patients, as well as on side effects, and disease-free and overall survival across the whole of the study.

Prof van de Velde said: "Adverse side effects were the main reasons why patients discontinued their treatment about half of all patients who discontinued did so because of side effects. Out of all the patients in the study, 6.3% discontinued tamoxifen and 4.4% discontinued exemestane because of side effects.

Adverse side effects included heart, skin, hormonal, digestive, metabolic, neurological, muscle and skel
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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