Author | Victor G. Vogel, MD, MHS, FACP


Preventing Breast Cancer in High-Risk Women, 2008

May 01, 2008

Several large, prospective trials have evaluated tamoxifen compared with placebo for breast cancer risk reduction in women at increased risk for breast cancer. Analysis of the large, prospective breast cancer risk-reduction trials that used tamoxifen estimated that tamoxifen decreased breast cancer incidence by 38% on average and estrogen receptor–positive tumors by 48%.

Neoadjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Breast Cancer: An Overlooked Option?

April 01, 2004

Locally advanced breast canceraccounts for up to 70% ofbreast cancer cases worldwide.[1] In the past decade, neoadjuvantsystemic therapy has emerged asa therapeutic option for early breastcancer. The main goal of neoadjuvanttreatment is to downstage breast tumors,rendering them operable or permittingbreast-conserving surgery.The therapy has been used increasinglyin patients who have large breasttumors and are candidates for mastectomy,but in whom tumor shrinkageallows for less extensive surgeryand better cosmetic results.[2] Thedegree of the tumor’s responsivenessto preoperative therapy could serveas a surrogate for the response ofmicrometastasis to therapy and theconsequent outcome.[3]

Update on Breast Cancer Prevention

June 01, 2003

Four randomized prospective trials have evaluated tamoxifen forchemoprevention of breast cancer. The National Surgical AdjuvantBreast and Bowel Project P-1 trial reported that tamoxifen reduced therisk of invasive breast cancer by 49%. Two smaller European trials, theRoyal Marsden Hospital Chemoprevention Trial and the Italian TamoxifenPrevention Study, demonstrated no decrease in the incidence ofbreast cancer among women using tamoxifen. The International BreastCancer Intervention Study confirmed that tamoxifen can reduce therisk of breast cancer in healthy women. The Multiple Outcomes ofRaloxifene Evaluation trial, which evaluated the use of raloxifene(Evista) to prevent osteoporosis, found that the risk of invasive breastcancer decreased by 76%. A uniform theme in these trials is thattamoxifen reduces the risk of breast cancer among women at high riskfor the disease. Tamoxifen is currently approved for breast cancer riskreduction. However, because of the side effects associated with its use(ie, endometrial cancer and thromboembolism), other agents are beinginvestigated. The Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene is designed tocompare the efficacy of tamoxifen and raloxifene in reducing breastcancer risk. Aromatase inhibitors will also be studied in the setting ofchemoprevention for breast cancer.

Is There a Role for Dose-Intensive Chemotherapy With Stem Cell Rescue in Breast Cancer?

December 01, 2002

During the 1990s, perhaps no other therapy for women with breast cancer was more controversial than high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow and/or peripheral stem cell support. With encouraging results from late phase I and early phase II trials in the early to mid-1990s, high-dose chemotherapy was promoted by its many enthusiastic proponents as a potentially great leap forward for women with high-risk, node-positive or metastatic disease.