Skip to comments.Hormone therapy fights spread of breast cancer
Posted on 12/14/2008 6:00:37 PM PST by neverdem
A hormone therapy for breast cancer can reduce the chances of deadly spread of the disease by nearly a fifth, according to new trial findings.
Women given the aromatase inhibitor exemestane after surgery were 19% less likely to suffer metastatic, or spreading, cancer than those receiving standard treatment.
Cancer is most deadly when it travels around the body, affecting vital organs such as the brain or liver.
Each year more than 45,600 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the UK and the disease kills around 12,300 women.
Exemestane, marketed as Aromasin, works by shutting off production of the female hormone oestrogen, which fuels the majority of breast cancer tumours.
Currently patients may be switched to exemestane after initial post-surgical treatment with standard tamoxifen.
The Team(Tamoxifen and Exemestane Adjuvant Multicentre) trial compared initial treatment with tamoxifen or exemestane in a group of almost 10,000 women with breast cancer.
After almost three years women treated with exemestane had a 17% lower incidence of new tumours than women treated with tamoxifen.
In addition the relative risk of tumours developing in other parts of the body was 19% lower for patients given exemestane.
A previous study showed that switching to exemestane reduced the risk of dying by 17% compared with remaining on tamoxifen.
The new findings were presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas.
The drug is currently not licensed for initial therapy in the UK.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The title of the original article is somewhat misleading. It’s not “hormone therapy” as in hormone replacement therapy. It’s anti-hormone therapy.
Interesting that they don’t talk about all the side effects of the drug. Shutting off all estrogen receptors is not needed. Indole 3 Carbinol, Diindolylmethane or Sulforaphane glucosinolate all made from broccoli and cruciferous vegetables can do a much better job than these pharma drugs at blocking the ‘bad’ estrogen and letting the ‘good’ estrogen stay. And...no side effects.... But then again, they cost about 1/4 less than the pharma drugs... ;)
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My wife took aromatase inhibitors (Femara for 3 months, then Aromasin for about 5 months) after she completed her primary treatment - “lumpectomy”, two courses of dose-dense chemo, and radiation. But she had to switch to Tamoxifen because she was experiencing severe and worsening leg pains. We are nearing 4 years since her surgery with no recurrence, but she is approaching the time when the benefits of Tamoxifen begins to decline. Statistically, she would benefit from returning to an aromatase inhibitor IF she can tolerate it.
My wife (referenced in post #5) was involved in the Women’s Health Initiative study that you reference concerning HRT. Specifically, she was in the placebo group, and all she received during her participation in the study was annual mammograms and (real) calcium supplements.
The study was terminated early because the results became apparent before the time was over. However, if it had continued, my wife’s breast cancer would have altered that result by a small margin. About 140 women in the placebo (control) group were diagnosed with breast cancer while the study was in progress. My wife was diagnosed at her first mammogram that was NOT part of the study - the first test that she had to arrange for herself, after discovering a lump on her chest wall above her breast.
If the study had included her cancer, it would have shown the statistical association of breast cancer with HRT to have been slightly lower.