Breast Cancer Prevention Drugs and Cognition Studied

-- Jeff Muise

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TUESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The selective estrogen receptor modulators tamoxifen and raloxifene, used for breast cancer prevention in postmenopausal women, have similar effects on cognition, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Claudine Legault, Ph.D., of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues studied a subgroup of women 65 years and older who had participated in the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene. The subgroup in the present study consisted of 1,498 women, including 1,225 who took baseline cognitive tests when already on treatment and 273 who were tested pretreatment. Cognitive tests were repeated at follow-up visits over two years.

The researchers found no significant differences in mean cognitive scores between the medication groups. However, there were significant time effects for the California Verbal Learning Test that were higher with raloxifene than with tamoxifen. Mean cognitive scores were similar for the women tested on treatment and those tested pretreatment. Because there was no placebo arm, only comparative cognition changes were evaluated.

"In summary, the present findings indicate that tamoxifen and raloxifene are associated with similar patterns of cognitive function in healthy postmenopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer. These findings will help women and their health care providers make more informed decisions regarding the use of tamoxifen or raloxifene for the prevention of breast cancer, because the data do not support one selective estrogen receptor modulator conferring a cognitive advantage over the other," the authors write.

Several of the study authors reported receiving honoraria or research funding from pharmaceutical companies.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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