Tamoxifen Can Help Stave Off Breast Cancer

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Women at high risk for developingbreast cancer who take tamoxifencan reduce their long-term risk ofdeveloping the disease, according tothe results of a recent study.Researchers found that women whotook the drug for up to 5 years were~43% less likely to get breast cancerthan those who took a placebo.

The study, which was funded bythe National Cancer Institute, involved13,388 women. The womeneither were aged >60 years or werebetween the ages of 35 and 59 yearsand at high risk (ie, having an immediaterelative with breast cancer). Theywere divided into 2 groups. Of thewomen who took tamoxifen, only 145developed breast cancer since thestart of the study, compared with 250women in the placebo group.

Although a number of medicinesexist that help to fight breast canceronce it has developed, only tamoxifenhas US approval to help prevent it inhigh-risk women. The data alsoshowed that women taking the drugexperienced fewer broken bonesthan those taking the placebo—80women compared with 116, respectively(Journal of the National CancerInstitute, November 15, 2005).