DRUG NEWS: Newer drug outperforms tamoxifen

February 2005 
Volume 35  Number 2
Pages 30 - 30
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    Based on results of a major new study, anastrozole (Arimidex) should replace tamoxifen as the drug of choice for preventing recurrent breast cancer in postmenopausal women with early, localized hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Researchers found that anastrozole may prevent 70% to 80% of the most common breast cancer tumors that occur in postmenopausal women, compared with 50% for tamoxifen.

    The study involved more than 9,000 women in over 20 countries who were treated for early-stage breast cancer. Compared with women taking tamoxifen for 5 years, those who took anastrozole for the same length of time were less likely to have their cancer recur, develop in the other breast, or metastasize. In general, anastrozole caused fewer adverse reactions than tamoxifen, especially gynecologic problems and vascular events, although arthralgia and fractures were more common with anastrozole.

    Anastrozole is one of three newer ...

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