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Review

Cancer Research Frontiers. 2016 Feb; 2(1): 105-111. doi: 10.17980/2016.105

Current issues in adjuvant hormonal therapy for early breast cancer

John Carpenter.

Emeritus Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), University of Alabama at Birmingham.

 

*Corresponding author: Emeritus Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), University of Alabama at Birmingham. BDB 684, 1720 Second Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-3300, USA. Email: jtc4321@bellsouth.net or jtc@uab.edu. Tel: 1-205-910-8886 or 1-205-934-2084

Citation: John Carpenter. Current issues in adjuvant hormonal therapy for early breast cancer. Cancer Research Frontiers. 2016 Feb; 2(1): 105-111. doi: 10.17980/2016.105

Copyright: @ 2016 John Carpenter. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Competing Interests: The author declares no competing financial interests.

Received Nov 2, 2015; Revised Feb 12, 2016; Accepted Feb 15, 2016. Published Feb 29, 2016

 

ABSTRACT

Breast cancer remains the most common malignancy of women in the world. The majority of tumors contain nuclear receptors for estrogen (ER) and/or progesterone (PR). For these tumors, estrogen deprivation, usingĀ  ovarian function suppression (OFS), drugs which block the synthesis of estrogen, or drugs which interfere with the effects of estrogen on tumor cells, constitutes the main treatment modality which prolongs survival. Current guidelines recommend tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor (AI) for 5-10 years after local therapy and after chemotherapy if it is used. No prospective trials reported to date have evaluated any adjuvant hormonal therapy for longer than 10 years duration or more than 5 years of an adjuvant AI. This review includes discussion of newer issues in hormonal therapy, including the extended use of hormonal therapy, the interruption of ovarian function in high-risk young women, the relative efficacy of AIs compared to tamoxifen, the adjuvant use of bisphosphonates, and the identification of groups of patients who may gain more or less benefit from adjuvant estrogen deprivation. As understanding of the biology of breast cancer increases, one can expect to see a corresponding increase in the precision of treatment recommendations for individual patients.

Keywords: breast cancer, hormonal therapy, adjuvant

 

 

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