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Raloxifene Reduces The Risk Of Breast Cancer

results, announced in 1999, demonstrated a 72 percent reduction in invasive breast cancer incidence after four years of raloxifene treatment, compared to use of a placebo.

The MORE trial was then extended four years to further evaluate the effect of raloxifene on breast cancer incidence in 4,011 of the original participants. Results of this trial, known as CORE (Continuing Outcomes Relevant to Evista), showed that eight years of raloxifene treatment was associated with a 66 percent decrease in invasive breast cancer incidence.

The current study was undertaken to assess the effect of raloxifene on level of breast cancer risk (higher versus lower) using data from both MORE and CORE.

Women at higher risk for breast cancer are generally older and have a greater lifetime exposure to estrogen, and the researchers found that this association held true in the reanalysis. But they also found that raloxifene reduced breast cancer risk in both women at lower and those at higher breast cancer risk, except for those women who had measurably low levels of estradiol, the major estrogen hormone in humans.

'In each variable commonly associated with a higher risk for developing breast cancer - age older than 65, age at menopause, a body mass index greater than 25, higher estradiol levels, prior use of estrogen replacement and a family history of breast cancer - use of raloxifene reduced incidence of breast cancer when compared to a placebo drug,' Dr. Lippman said. 'But it also reduced incidence in each of those variables that should have lowered risk, such as younger age, later menopause, etc., compared to use of a placebo drug.'

'We don't define the lowest limit of risk, the point at which toxicity associated with use of raloxifene outweighs the benefits,' he said.

Dr. Lippman stressed that he cannot comment on how raloxifene in this study measures up to tamoxifen use in general. He explains that although these
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