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Current Oncology Reports

, 16:358 | Cite as

The Optimal Duration of Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Early Stage Breast Cancer—With What Drugs and for How Long?

  • Stephen R. D. Johnston
  • Belinda Yeo
Breast Cancer (B Overmoyer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Breast Cancer

Abstract

Adjuvant endocrine therapy has made a significant impact in improving overall survival for women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer. The anti-estrogen tamoxifen is the most widely used therapy, although in post-menopausal women, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) have further improved outcomes either as an alternative to tamoxifen for 5 years, or given in sequential fashion following initial tamoxifen therapy. However, late recurrence remains perhaps the biggest risk in HR-positive breast cancer, with more than half all recurrences occurring beyond 5 years since primary diagnosis. As such, the current debate is whether extended AI or prolonged tamoxifen therapy should be given, and if so, to whom. We review some of the recent studies that have addressed this question and demonstrated further reduction in risk of recurrence, and discuss the clinical issues that face women and their health care providers in determining who should use which drug, and for how long.

Keywords

Tamoxifen Aromatase inhibitor HR-positive breast cancer Extended adjuvant therapy Risk of recurrence 

Notes

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Stephen R.D. Johnston has been a consultant for Roche, AstraZeneca, Novartis, and GSK.

Belinda Yeo declares that she has no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineRoyal Marsden NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK

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