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Breast Cancer - Is Arimidex Better Than Tamoxifen?  Panel Says Arimidex Should Be Treatment of Choice in Some Postmenopausal Women

August 1st 2006

Breast Cancer - Is Arimidex Better Than Tamoxifen?  Panel Says Arimidex Should Be Treatment of Choice in Some Postmenopausal Women

Cancer Cell

New research shows that AstraZeneca’s new breast cancer drug, Arimidex, is better tolerated than tamoxifen, the current gold standard treatment.   The study found that significantly fewer patients in the Arimidex groups had adverse side effects related to their treatment or that caused them to withdraw from treatment.

Reuters reported that Arimidex also had a significantly better risk-benefit profile, taking into account both the chance that patients would have a recurrence of breast cancer and any side effects.

PRnewswire reports that an international panel of breast cancer specialists confirmed value of aromatase inhibitors (AI) such as Arimdex (anastrozole) as a treatment of hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

 

Dr. Aman Buzdar said "Over the last three years, there has been an influx of new information about the use of aromatase inhibitors in early breast cancer, and while this is great news, it has created a great deal of confusion. This guidance helps to clarify considerations for use of AIs in everyday practice. These data provide the evidence that support using an aromatase inhibitor at the earliest opportunity." Buzdar is professor of medicine for the department of breast medical oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The panel even went as far as to say that AI’s are superior to tamoxifen and should be considered the treatment of choice in postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed hormone-sensitive, early breast cancer.  They also said tamoxifen treatment has been the standard of care for 20 years and remains an effective treatment for certain patients; there is no subgroup of patients who do not appear to benefit from initial AI adjuvant therapy.

 

There is a downside to the AI treatment.  The panel said there is an increased risk of fractures are seen with AIs compared with tamoxifen, but they appear to be predictable and manageable. AI therapy is also associated with an increase in joint symptoms. The mechanisms explaining these conditions are unknown.

There may be a relationship between AI and heart problems, but further studies are needed.  The panel says current evidence suggests that AIs have either no or little effect on CHD and the presence of CHD should not impact on the prescribing of AIs for adjuvant use. Further follow-up is required to determine whether differences between the AIs exist.

 
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Marsha Quinn
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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM