Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tamoxifen not likely to prevent many breast cancers in at-risk women

28.09.2004


Research has shown that the drug tamoxifen citrate not only helps prevent recurrence of breast cancer, but it also can keep the deadly disease from occurring in the first place in some women.



But a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study indicates it’s unlikely that tamoxifen will ever be given widely to women to prevent breast cancer. That’s because the drug would avert only a maximum of 6 percent to 8.3 percent of breast tumors in eligible women, UNC School of Medicine researchers have found. "Our calculations showed that tamoxifen’s possibly harmful side effects, including blood clots and stroke, would rule out some 90 percent of women who might benefit from taking it each day," said Dr. Russell P Harris, associate professor of medicine at UNC. A report on the study appears in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Besides Harris, a member of UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, authors are principal investigator Dr. Carmen L. Lewis, assistant professor of medicine at UNC; Dr. Linda S. Kinsinger, assistant director of the VA Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention; and Robert J. Schwartz, a computer programmer at UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.


The study involved having 605 women, ages 40 to 69, in 10 general internal medicine practices in North Carolina, fill out questionnaires about their health and family histories of breast cancer. Then, using a proven formula for assessing breast cancer incidence and factoring in the women’s responses, researchers determined the expected number of cases that would occur over the next five years.

They found that only a relatively small number of women in primary care practices would be eligible for the chemopreventive therapy because of existing conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes and other risk factors, Harris said. Since the majority of women never develop breast cancer anyway, the percentage of actual cancers prevented would be small.

"Screening mammography, which is useful, is not the whole answer to preventing breast cancer deaths, and our new work shows that tamoxifen won’t be either," he said. "On the other hand, in a message to the research community, tamoxifen has shown us that if we can find other chemopreventive agents that don’t have all the side effects, then we could have greater success and save more lives."

Tamoxifen works in women by blocking what’s known as the estrogen receptor that allows the hormone to work, the physician said. Most breast cancer development is dependent on estrogen.

Limitations of the research were that the number of women in each age category of the overall group were small, and black women, women with less education and those with no health insurance were not well represented in the sample, Harris said. Similar studies with larger numbers of subjects would help confirm the results.

David Williamson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>