Longer Breast Cancer Drug, Has Advantage

The ATLAS Study was discussed at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference December 4-8, 2012. They discussed Adjuvant Tamoxifen at 15 years, the advantage of longer treatment. This is a hormone blocking drug used for breast cancer patients who are pre-menopausal.  The ATLAS study is a study being done on 7,000 patients in 36 countries. Those who took it 5 years had benefit from taking it for 5 years as far as reduced recurrence and fewer deaths after treatment. This new study was for 10 years and the overall gain from additional benefit. They found fewer recurrences in the 10 years group and reduced breast cancer mortality according to William E. Barlow, PhD.  Those who stayed on this drugs for longer have more carry over affect.  In other words 10 years is superior to 5 years according to this well documented research study.

There are risks for being on long term use of the drug such as endrometrial cancer, blood clots, etc. (I have know a few cases). Endrometrial cancer is considered low in these women, supposedly.

My comments:  Oncologists need to decide to keep the patient in the drug, switch drugs, stop and start drugs on hormone drive cancers to jump start the patient who becomes to use to the drug and maybe immune to it. They also need to look at the patients family history of blood clots, strokes, etc.


Five years ago I did a paper on the  ATAC study comparing for the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium/Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation. The results were that Anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor showing superior efficacy over Tamoxifen. Granted these are two different drugs used on two different kind of clients. Armidex or anastrozole products are often for post menopausal women whereas Tamoxifen is for Pre-menopausal patients.

There was an important factors such as  Anastrozole may be more useful in preventing breast cancer recurrences in contralateral breast cancer, after 5 years with a a 1.7% difference.

Recurrence rates are lower with Anastrozole after treatment is complete. The absolute difference in recurrence increased from 2.8% after 5 years to 4.8% after 9 years.  

It also stated that Anastrozole is 50% lower where as Tamoxifen is 33% in 5-9 years.

( I am interested in this topic, as I am an 8 year patient on Armidex, an aromastase inhibitor for post menopausal women.

I wish this topic would of been discussed again at the  recent conference. (I did get an E-mail from Armidex about the conference, as I wanted to hear about on-going results.  I must find that e-mail.)