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New breast cancer study shows hormonal therapy not enough

SAN ANTONIO -- Many postmenopausal women with hormone-dependent breast cancer (requires estrogen and/or progesterone to grow) may be undertreated if they do not receive chemotherapy in addition to hormonal therapy after surgery, according to a Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill., study.

Loyola's Dr. Kathy S. Albain presented the results of a 10-year follow-up of The Breast Cancer Intergroup of North America Trial 0100 at the late breaking session of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium annual meeting here today.

"The research shows that, in many cases, tamoxifen or other hormonal therapy alone is not optimal," said principal investigator and first author Albain, professor, division of hematology/oncology, Department of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill.

"Overall, chemotherapy helped stop the cancer from recurring in postmenopausal women with receptor-positive breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes," said Albain. "This survival advantage was greatest when tamoxifen followed chemotherapy, rather than given concurrently.

"Ten-year disease-free-survival estimates were 48 percent for those treated with tamoxifen alone; 53 percent for concurrent chemohormonal therapy; and 60 percent for sequential therapy," said Albain, director, Breast Research Program; co-director of the multidisciplinary Breast Oncology Center; and director of the Thoracic Oncology Program, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill.

Albain and colleagues conducted a 10-year follow-up of 1,477 patients. A total of 550 patients received concurrent chemohormonal therapy (CAFT) (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, tamoxifen); another 566 patients received sequential chemohormonal therapy (CAF-T); and 361 patients received tamoxifen alone.

"Long-term follow-up of this large North A
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Contact: Joanne Swanson
jswanson@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
8-Dec-2004


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