Navigation Links
Tamoxifen causes significant side effects in male breast cancer patients
Date:11/16/2011

HOUSTON About half of male breast cancer patients who take the drug tamoxifen to prevent their disease from returning report side effects such as weight gain and sexual dysfunction, which prompts more than 20 percent of them to discontinue treatment, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The study, which is the largest to date of how the estrogen-blocking drug is tolerated in men with breast cancer, was published today in the journal Annals of Oncology.

"While tamoxifen is effective in treating breast cancer in men, little is known about its toxicity," said Sharon Giordano, M.D., associate professor of medicine in MD Anderson's Department of Breast Medical Oncology and senior author of the study. "This research will help doctors and patients better understand the side effects men experience. With this information, patients can make more informed decisions about treatment risks and benefits."

Few Empirical Studies of Rare Disease

Only about 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year, but its incidence is increasing. Since the disease is so rare, little published evidence exists to guide treatment decisions, and most are based on what works in women. There is limited data about the toxicity of anti-hormonal treatments in men.

Male breast cancers are almost always hormone-receptor positive. Tamoxifen blocks the growth-promoting action of estrogen on cancer cells, and it usually is prescribed to men after surgery.

MD Anderson is one of the nation's most active centers for treatment of male breast cancer. As a fellow working with Giordano, lead author Naveen Pemmaraju, M.D., now an assistant professor in MD Anderson's Department of Leukemia, saw a number of these patients.

"I was struck by how rare the disease is and how little published literature there is about it," he said. "I noticed many of these men were stopping tamoxifen therapy early, and the side effects seemed to be different from those generally reported in women."

Side Effects Different From Women

Researchers analyzed the medical records of 64 male breast cancer patients treated at MD Anderson between 1999 and 2009. Diagnoses included stages I, II and III. Patients received tamoxifen for an average of four years.

More than half (53 percent) had one or more drug-related side effect. The top two complaints were weight gain (22 percent) and sexual dysfunction (22 percent). Twenty percent of men stopped taking the drug prematurely because of adverse effects. Of 13 men who discontinued tamoxifen early, four were directed by physicians to stop for medical reasons.

Pemmaraju says men seem to experience different side effects than women, probably because their hormonal environment is different. For example, men have lower levels of estrogen and higher levels of testosterone.

After adjusting for patient age and disease stage, researchers found the outlook for men with breast cancer who take tamoxifen is similar to that of women.

Awareness, Discussion Are Key

Pemmaraju said the study shouldn't change the practice of prescribing tamoxifen for men, but he suggests doctors may want to counsel patients about the side effects and the benefits of continuing the medication.

"I hope this study will help raise awareness in patients and physicians, generate discussion about the side effects and begin to tease out details of why treatment is discontinued," he said.

Further Study Needed

Pemmaraju said the study shows the need for future research to help understand the problems and benefits of tamoxifen.

"It would be valuable to prospectively assess male breast cancer patients and collect data on them at the start of tamoxifen therapy and then follow them through the years to get a better sense side effects and tolerability," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Side Effects May Spur Men to Drop Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer
2. Male breast cancer patients stop taking tamoxifen early because of drug-related side effects
3. Tamoxifen resistance -- and how to defeat it
4. Femara May Beat Tamoxifen at Preventing Breast Cancers Return
5. Women Who Drink, Smoke Are Less Likely to Stick With Tamoxifen
6. Leukemia drug reverses tamoxifen-resistance in breast cancer cells
7. Tamoxifen Wards Off Breast Cancers Return for More Than a Decade
8. Marker identifies breast cancer patients likely to respond to tamoxifen
9. Fox Chase researchers find that fish oil boosts responses to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
10. Researchers find possible clues to tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer patients
11. Tamoxifen May Offer Long-Term Heart, Cancer Protection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... As health ... medicine known as “patient engagement.” The patient is doing more than filling out a ... , “There is an increasing emphasis in health care and research on the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX ... CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will ... and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families ... However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client ... elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and ... explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, ... puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States ... creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have ... thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform ... leadership team developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017 ... , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, ... offer a strategic hub service that expedites and streamlines ... personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... is a medical device used to measure lung function ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... --  OrthoAtlanta has been named the official orthopedic and ... for the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship to ... in Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is proud ... participating in many activities leading up to, and including the ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: