Medline: 1920492

Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83(20): 1450-1459, 1991.

Potential role of tamoxifen in prevention of breast cancer.

Nayfield SG, Karp JE, Ford LG, et al.

Abstract:

Despite advances in early detection and treatment of breast cancer, primary prevention has not been well explored, especially for women at increased risk of disease due to reproductive factors and family history. There are, however, suggestions that primary prevention of breast cancer may be a realistic objective. Randomized clinical trials of adjuvant therapy for early-stage breast cancer have demonstrated a 35% decrease in contralateral breast cancers among women receiving tamoxifen compared with controls, suggesting a potential role for tamoxifen in chemoprevention of breast cancer in women at increased risk of the disease. Adjuvant therapy studies also demonstrate that tamoxifen is well tolerated by most patients and suggest additional health benefits from alterations in plasma lipid levels and stabilization of bone mineral loss in women receiving tamoxifen. Aspects of tamoxifen pharmacology, laboratory research, and clinical experience which support its investigation as a chemopreventive agent for breast cancer are summarized, and potential toxic effects are discussed. (94 Refs)


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