Additional Drug Improves Survival in Early Breast Cancer

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Tamoxifen or anastrozole treatment of premenopausal women with endocrine-responsive early breast cancer leads to similar rates of disease-free survival, which is improved by additional treatment with zoledronic acid, according to a report in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Michael Gnant, M.D., from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,803 premenopausal women with endocrine-responsive early breast cancer to goserelin plus tamoxifen (minus or plus zoledronic acid) or goserelin plus anastrozole (minus or plus zoledronic acid) for three years.

After a median follow-up of 47.8 months, the researchers observed 137 events. Disease-free survival rates were 92.8 percent in the tamoxifen group, 92 percent in the anastrozole group, 90.8 percent in the endocrine group alone and 94 percent in patients receiving endocrine therapy with zoledronic acid. Disease-free survival, recurrence-free survival and overall survival were similar in the tamoxifen and anastrozole groups. However, the addition of zoledronic acid significantly reduced the risk of disease progression (hazard ratio 0.64) but not death, the researchers report.

"The addition of zoledronic acid to adjuvant endocrine therapy improves disease-free survival in premenopausal patients with estrogen-responsive early breast cancer," Gnant and colleagues conclude.

The study was supported by AstraZeneca and Novartis.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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