Navigation Links
Tamoxifen May Offer Long-Term Heart, Cancer Protection
Date:3/22/2011

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen for the recommended five years protects women from breast cancer recurrence better than a two-year course of the drug and it also shields some women from cardiovascular disease, new research finds.

The cancer protection and heart-disease risk reduction were noted 15 years after starting treatment, according to the study published online March 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The findings may surprise many women on the medication, said Allan Hackshaw, deputy director of Cancer Research and the University College London Cancer Trials Center. "I think many women don't realize the benefits [reduced cancer recurrence] last a long time if they can complete the five-year course, and particularly also the CV [cardiovascular] disease benefit," he said.

Hackshaw and his colleagues studied follow-up data for 3,449 participants in the Cancer Research UK "Over 50s" trial comparing tamoxifen use of five years and two years by women with early beast cancer. The women were between 50 and 81 at the start.

During the initial study period, 1987 to 1997, the women took 20 milligrams of tamoxifen a day for two years. After that, they were assigned randomly to stop taking the drug or to continue taking tamoxifen for three more years, if they were recurrence-free.

The researchers then tracked cancer recurrences, new tumors, death and cardiovascular events through April 2010.

There were 1,103 recurrences, 755 deaths from breast cancer, 621 cardiovascular events and 236 deaths from cardiovascular events. They found that 15 years after the women first began taking tamoxifen, for every 100 who took it for five years, nearly six fewer women suffered a recurrence compared to those on the two-year regimen.

The longer treatment reduced the risk of breast cancer developing in the opposite breast by 30 percent, the researchers found.

The effect on heart disease among women 50 to 59 years old was even stronger -- a 35 percent reduction in cardiovascular events and a 59 percent reduction in deaths from cardiovascular problems.

However, among older women the heart effect was much smaller and not statistically significant.

Tamoxifen, used for 30 years to treat breast cancer, inhibits the ability of estrogen-receptor positive cancers (the majority of breast cancers) to grow by disrupting estrogen activity.

It's not clear how the drug protects against heart disease, Hackshaw said. "But there is evidence that tamoxifen reduces lipid levels [for example, cholesterol], which we know in turn reduces cardiovascular risk," he explained.

It's possible that the protective effect declined in older women because damage to the arteries had already occurred, he speculated.

The new research is a timely reminder about the benefits of tamoxifen, said Dr. Joanne Mortimer, vice chair of medical oncology at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif., and director of its women's cancers program.

Although many doctors prescribe medications known as aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer instead of tamoxifen, Mortimer said tamoxifen is still widely prescribed.

"Maybe for those who have problems with an aromatase inhibitor, they would be comforted by the fact that tamoxifen is an alternative and has a favorable effect on normal tissues, like bone and heart muscles," Mortimer said.

While not discounting the effectiveness of aromatase inhibitors, Hackshaw said tamoxifen is much less expensive.

A month's supply of 20-milligram tablets, the dose used in the Hackshaw study, is about $100. Brand-name versions of aromatase inhibitors can cost more than $500 for 30 pills, although cheaper generic versions are also available.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Kathleen Pritchard, of Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center in Toronto, said the findings about heart protection should be regarded with ''some caution,'' although the finding is of interest.

Some research has found cardiovascular deaths higher in women on aromatase inhibitors than tamoxifen, she writes, although not all studies of tamoxifen have found the cardiovascular protection. So, still more research is needed, she said.

More information

To learn more about tamoxifen, visit the National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Allan Hackshaw, deputy director, UK and University College London Cancer Trials Center, London; Joanne Mortimer, M.D., director, Women's Cancers Program and vice chair, medical oncology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif.; March 21, 2011, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online


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

Related medicine news :

1. Breast Cancer Drug Tamoxifen Saves Lives, Medical Costs: Study
2. Taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer can save lives and money
3. HOXB7 gene promotes tamoxifen resistance
4. Cough medicine could help doctors identify how breast cancer patients metabolize tamoxifen
5. Scientists reprogram triple-negative breast cancer cells to respond to tamoxifen
6. Gene Mutation Offers Clues to Tamoxifen-Blood Clot Link
7. Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen
8. Cell study finds receptor can fight tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells
9. Raloxifene, Tamoxifen Both Guard Against Breast Cancer
10. Doctors must collaborate so that patients get full benefit of tamoxifen treatment
11. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tamoxifen May Offer Long-Term Heart, Cancer Protection
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... Buyers and sellers ... users to dispensaries and head shops –can’t help but be heartened by the industry’s ... tell-tale cannabis odor aptly described as “skunk smell.” At last they can simply, ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... Hollywood, Fl (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... than Memorial Regional Hospital, according to a special report in the May issue of ... Hospital its highest quality ranking for results achieved during and after coronary bypass ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capabilities at Telehealth 2.0, the American Telemedicine Association’s ... bundles, which pairs medical devices with a pre-programmed tablet in a remarkably easy-to-use ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... , ... As part of the nationwide Days of Remembrance effort led by ... and Nazi persecution, Center for Medicine after the Holocaust (CMATH) announced that ... to Germany and Poland next week. , The Fourth Biennial CMATH Champions Trip to ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , ... April 24, 2017 , ... The California Dental ... in charitable dental services to 1,961 people during the April 22-23 event at the ... charge to Californians who experience barriers to care, CDA Cares educates the public and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  AbbVie (NYSE: ... 99 percent (n=145/146) of chronic hepatitis C virus ... 5 or 6 and compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) ... (SVR 12 ) with its investigational, pan-genotypic regimen ... rates were seen following 12 weeks of G/P ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Eyevensys, a private ... non-viral gene expression technology that enables the safe, local, ... address a wide range of ophthalmic diseases, announces it ... products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to advance its technology into ... ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... By Service (Manufacturing, Research), By Country, (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, ... to their offering. ... The Latin American pharmaceutical contract manufacturing services market is anticipated ... drug registration cost in Latin American countries and continuous economic ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: