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Other highlights in the May 2 JNCI

Study Confirms Tamoxifen Prevents Breast Cancer in High-Risk Women

Women at high risk for breast cancer who have undergone a hysterectomy appear to benefit from taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer, according to an extended follow-up of the Italian Randomized Tamoxifen Trial.

The initial findings from the Italian trial showed no significant reduction in breast cancer risk with tamoxifen use. However, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Projects Breast Cancer Prevention Trial found that tamoxifen reduced the risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

Umberto Veronesi, M.D., of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, and colleagues randomly assigned 5,408 healthy women who had a hysterectomy to receive tamoxifen or a placebo for five years.

After 11 years of follow-up, 136 women developed breast cancer74 in the placebo group and 62 in the tamoxifen group. Among low-risk women, rates of breast cancer were similar in the tamoxifen and placebo groups. But for women at high risk, breast cancer rates were lower for those taking tamoxifen. Women taking tamoxifen experienced more side effects, including hot flashes and heart problems, than women in the placebo group.

"A complete assessment of the baseline cardiovascular risk should become an important component of counseling women on the use of tamoxifen, particularly in the prevention setting," the authors write.

Contact: Donata Francese, European Institute of Oncology, dfrancese@consulenti-associati.it, +39 02 89 075034


Drug Combination Halts Tumor Growth Better Than Single Agent

Treatment with three drugs that inhibit the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) stops HER2-positive breast cancer tumor growth in mice better than treatment with just one or two of the drugs.

Grazia Arpino, M.D., Ph.D., of Baylor Colleg
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Contact: Liz Savage
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
1-May-2007


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