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Study demonstrates that low dose tamoxifen may be effective in treating breast cancer

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"Tamoxifen is the most widely prescribed agent in the world for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer," said Dr. Decensi. "Although tamoxifen has been studied since the 1970s, we have yet to determine the optimal biologic dose."

While there may be potential benefits to lower doses of drug in terms of cancer prevention, the study identified other disease markers that were dose-dependent, specifically circulating biomarkers reflecting drug estrogenicity such as insulin-like growth factor-I, cholesterol, triglycerides and antithrombin-III. Lower doses of tamoxifen might therefore reduce its preventative effects in cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, but also reduce important adverse events such as venous thrombosis. There was also a direct link to the decreased reduction of cholesterol and low dose tamoxifen.

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in women. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2003 more than 266,000 women and 1,300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 39,000 women and 400 men will die from the disease.


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Contact: Aimee Frank
202-955-6222
American Association for Cancer Research
8-Apr-2003


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