Skip to main content

Breast Cancer Drug Study: More Effective After 10 Years

min read

By Catherine Roberts

A new study published in the journal The Lancet has suggested that a certain breast cancer treatment is more effective if taken for twice the amount of time. The study, titled, “Long-term effects of continuing adjuvant tamoxifen to 10 years versus stopping at 5 years after diagnosis of oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer: ATLAS, a randomised trial” was authored by Dr. Christina Davies and over thirty other researchers.

They looked at women diagnosed with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive early breast cancer. This type of cancer feeds of female hormones, and Tamoxifen can block the hormones in question. For women at a pre-menopausal age whom have this type of breast cancer, Tamoxifen may be prescribed. It is normally prescribed for a five year treatment plan. The researchers wanted to see what the effects were for women who took it for longer than five years.

They looked at 12,984 women who were taking Adjuvant Tamoxifen. Half were asked to extend their treatment beyond the 5 years to 10. The participants were followed for yearly follow ups, tracking cancer recurrence, secondary cancers, hospital admission, or death. The results showed that women who took Tamoxifen for longer than 10 years had 25% drop in their recurrence rates and 29% reduction of risk of death.

Unfortunately the side effects of the drug can cause women to stop treatment. Side effects range from night sweats and hot flashes to blood clots and endometrial cancer. The study did not find an increase risk of endometrial cancer when both groups were compared.

A commentary of the study was published in the same journal. It was written by Trevor J. Powles and was titled, “Extended adjuvant tamoxifen for breast cancer—a new era?”. In response to the study’s findings, he said, “Overall, the benefits of extended tamoxifen seemed to outweigh the risks substantially.”

Source: CTV News, The Lancet Study, The Lancet Commentary

Catherine Roberts


Catherine is our go-to writer for women’s health news, diet trends and more. She’s dedicated to providing Activebeat readers with the information they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle every day.

Health Studies in the News


The Top Medical Breakthroughs To Watch Out For In 2014
By Emily Lockhart Health Studies in the News

The Top Medical Breakthroughs To Watch Out For In 2014

Three-dimensional body parts and bionic eyes might sound like something out of a futuristic comic book. However, the following nine health breakthroughs are among the most incredible medical advances to watch out for in 2014! 1. Cancer Immunotherapy Cancer is getting a serious kick in the britches this year starting with a treatment called cancer […]

Read More about The Top Medical Breakthroughs To Watch Out For In 2014

3 min read

The 10 Leading Health Stories of 2013
By Emily Lockhart Diet and Nutrition News & Advice

The 10 Leading Health Stories of 2013

Looking back on 2013, I can’t honestly say if we are any healthier this year than we were in past years. But I do believe (for the most part) the web and social media are putting more and better quality health, fitness, and nutrition information at the fingertips of readers than every before, and […]

Read More about The 10 Leading Health Stories of 2013

5 min read