And it took place in the use of tamoxifen – a drug used after surgery in women who have had breast cancer, intraepithelial neoplasia, equal to approximately 20% of all cancers of the breast, to reduce the risk of recurrence: it is effective even at low doses, and side effects much reduced
This was shown in a study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the most important international congress on breast cancer, by a group of Italian researchers led by Andrea De Censi, director of medical Oncology, Ospedali Galliera of Genoa. The study shows that a low dosage of only 5 mg per day halves the risk of recurrence and of new breast cancers and decreases the adverse effects with a lower impact on the quality of life of women.
The important result has been achieved thanks to the support of AIRC, the Italian Ministry of Health and LILT, and will, claim the researchers, “a significant change in the lives of thousands of women treated for breast cancer at an early stage”. Until now the stated dosage was 20 mg / day and the treatment lasted 5 years.
“Unfortunately, tamoxifen is associated with an increased risk of cancer of the endometrium, the inner part of the uterus, and venous thromboembolism in addition to the appearance of symptoms of the menopause that can lead to interruption of treatment,” explains De Censi. The data of our study, the TAM-01, which involved 500 patients in 14 centres in italy, show that low doses of tamoxifen, equal to 5 mg per day for 3 years reduced the risk of recurrence, and reduces to 75% of new cancers in the other breast compared to placebo. A result that is comparable to what you get with the dosage to 20 mg. a statistically significant reduction of serious adverse events”. On the basis of these results, De Censi aims to initiate a new study for the primary prevention in women at increased risk: “we are Confident that a treatment with 5 mg / day of tamoxifen, may be an opportunity for primary prevention in healthy women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer, including women with BRCA mutation, the one known as the gene of Angelina Jolie”, concludes De Censi.