Primary Endocrine Therapy

  • Jenna Morgan
  • Lynda WyldEmail author


Use of endocrine therapy alone for the treatment of operable breast cancer, (primary endocrine therapy or PET) was first described in the 1980s and is a strategy adopted to varying degrees by different countries. It is a good option for the very frail or unfit older women with ER positive breast cancer. Selection for its use must take into account the probable life expectancy of the woman because secondary antioestrogen resistance develops after a median of 2–3 years. The biology of the tumour has a strong influence on response rates and aromatase inhibitors perform better than tamoxifen in this setting. Primary endocrine therapy is well tolerated and may avoid unnecessary morbidity for some women if selected appropriately. At present there are no evidence based selection guidelines but it is hoped these will be published soon once the Age Gap trial reports.


Surgery Primary endocrine therapy Outcomes Risk assessment 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oncology and MetabolismUniversity of Sheffield Medical SchoolSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustDoncasterUK

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