Two Years of Adjuvant Tamoxifen Provides a Survival Benefit Compared With No Systemic Treatment in Premenopausal Patients With Primary Breast Cancer

Ekholm, M. et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology. July 1, 2016. 34 (19). pp. 2232-2238

tamoxifen_cancer_drug

Image source: Bill Branson – Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effect of 2 years of adjuvant tamoxifen compared with no systemic treatment (control) in premenopausal patients with breast cancer over different time periods through long-term (> 25 years) follow-up.

Patients and Methods: Premenopausal patients with primary breast cancer (N = 564) were randomly assigned to 2 years of tamoxifen (n = 276) or no systemic treatment (n = 288). Data regarding date and cause of death were obtained from the Swedish Cause of Death Register. End points were cumulative mortality (CM) and cumulative breast cancer–related mortality (CBCM). The median follow-up for the 250 patients still alive in April 2014 was 26.3 years (range, 22.7 to 29.7 years).

Results: In patients with estrogen receptor–positive tumors (n = 362), tamoxifen was associated with a marginal reduction in CM (hazard ratio [HR], 0.77; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.03; P = .075) and a significant reduction in CBCM (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.99;P = .046). The effect seemed to vary over time (CM years 0 to 5: HR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.73; years > 5 to 15: HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.91; and after 15 years: HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.48 to 1.42; CBCM years 0 to 5: HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.65 to 1.82; years > 5 to 15: HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.86; and after 15 years: HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.36 to 1.44).

Conclusion: Two years of adjuvant tamoxifen resulted in a long-term survival benefit in premenopausal patients with estrogen receptor–positive primary breast cancer.

Read the abstract here

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