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Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Results of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial after completion of 5 years' adjuvant treatment for breast cancer
ATAC Trialists' Group, The Lancet, 12-8-04

As noted above, the standard treatment for postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive localised breast cancer is 5 years of tamoxifen, but “recurrences and side-effects restrict its usefulness.”

In this study, “the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole was compared with tamoxifen for 5 years in 9366 postmenopausal women with localised breast cancer. After a median follow-up of 68 months, anastrozole significantly prolonged disease-free survival...and time-to-recurrence...and significantly reduced distant metastases...and contralateral breast cancers.” In addition, there were fewer patient withdrawals from the aromatase inhibitors than with tamoxifen thanks to fewer side-effects, “especially gynaecological problems and vascular events, but arthralgia and fractures were increased.” The study concludes that anastrozole “should be the preferred initial treatment for postmenopausal women with localised hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.”



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