Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 297–302

Bone mineral density in women with breast cancer treated with adjuvant tamoxifen for at least two years

  • Richard R. Love
  • Richard B. Mazess
  • Douglass C. Tormey
  • Howard S. Barden
  • Polly A. Newcomb
  • V. Craig Jordan
Report

Summary

While in limited animal studies tamoxifen is reported to protect against loss of bone mineral, data in humans are lacking. We measured bone mineral density (BMD) using single photon absorptiometry at the radius and dual photon absorptiometry at the lumbar spine in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy at our institution. In this group, 37 women were not treated with tamoxifen (NT) and 48 women were treated with tamoxifen (T) for at least two years. Younger age, greater weight and height, premenopausal status, and shorter time since menopause were found to be significant predictors of greater BMD. Tamoxifen-treated women had been postmenopausal for more years (p = 0.012). Regression analyses used to adjust for differences in risk of bone loss did not reveal significant differences in BMD between the two groups of women. For the postmenopausal women (27 NT and 34 T subjects), the adjusted mean BMD (g/cm2) at the spine was 1.11 (NT), 1.11 (T) (p = 0.93); and at the radius 0.63 (NT), 0.62 (T) (p = 0.30). This limited retrospective study suggests that tamoxifen does not have ‘anti-estrogenic’ effects on BMD.

Key words

tamoxifen bone density osteoporosis 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard R. Love
    • 1
  • Richard B. Mazess
    • 2
    • 3
  • Douglass C. Tormey
    • 1
  • Howard S. Barden
    • 3
  • Polly A. Newcomb
    • 1
  • V. Craig Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human OncologyUniversity of Wisconsin Center for Health Sciences and the University of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer CenterMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical PhysicsUniversity of Wisconsin Center for Health Sciences and the University of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer CenterMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Lunar RadiationUniversity of Wisconsin Center for Health Sciences and the University of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer CenterMadisonUSA

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