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From Medicineworld.org: Switching from tamoxifen to anastrozole after two year of treatment

Breast cancer treatment Breast cancer main Breast cancer news  

Switching from tamoxifen to anastrozole after two year of treatment


A group of drugs called aromatase inhibitors have recently started dominating the hormonal therapy of breast cancer. These drugs work by blocking the enzyme aromatase, which is necessary to produce the female hormone estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors thus decrease the levels of estrogen hormone in women. Estrogen production in pre-menopausal women do not depend on aromatase enzyme hence these groups or drugs are not effective in pre-menopausal women unless the ovarian function is blocked.

Three drugs of this group are approved for use in treating breast cancer. These are letrozole (Femara), anastrozole (Arimidex), and exemestane (Aromasin). Aromatase inhibitors are often the drugs of choice in post-menopausal women with hormone receptor positive tumor who had breast cancer recurrence. Recent studies have shown that anastrozole (Arimidex) can be used for adjuvant therapy of breast cancer in place of tamoxifen in post-menopausal women. A recent study has shown that after about 30 months of tamoxifen, if the treatment is switched to exemestane (Aromasin) that would give better results than continuing with tamoxifen for five years in post-menopausal patients.

Now there is more evidence in favor of aromatase inhibitors, and assurance that this effect of benefit on switching is not limited to exemestane (Aromasin). A recent trial published in the Lancet medical journal, showed that switching from tamoxifen to anastrozole after about 2 years of treatment produces beneficial effects.

Of the 1,606 women in the tamoxifen-only group, there had been 110 cases of recurrence by the five-year mark.

Among the 1,618 in tamoxifen-then-anastrozole group, there were 67 cases of recurrence.

The study was lead by Raimund Jakesz, a professor at Vienna Medical University.


Cancer terms:
Diagnosis: Diagnosis is the identification of the exact disease that is causing the patients problem. Various laboratory tests are often used depending on the symptoms to determine the correct diagnosis. After laboratory investigations, a physician my tell a patient that the tumor in the breast is diagnosed as lipoma and is not a cancer. See cancer terms for more cancer related terms.

Medicineworld.org: Switching from tamoxifen to anastrozole after two year of treatment

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