The doctors have come across a new strategy in which they say that switching tamoxifen to a different drug after two or three years of its use can boost breast cancer survival rate.
In this research doctors are trying to get a grip on the duration of treatment.
Tamoxifen has been the drug of choice treating breast cancer throughout the decades. The course of regimen of tamoxifen is that it should be taken for five years after the surgery and it decreases the risk of recurrence of breast cancer in half of the patients and improves the survival rate. The way this drug works is that it dampens the effect of estrogen hormone that acts as a fuel for growth of most of the tumors that occur in women after menopause.
There is another class of drug, which is known as aromatase inhibitors, which keep estrogen from being made in the first place, and it also prevents the risk of blood clots, as well as endometrial cancer as tamoxifen does. The companies that make this drug are listed as follow: AstraZeneca PLC’s Arimidex, Pfizer Inc.’s Aromasin and Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ Femara.
Aromatase inhibitors work as does tamoxifen, but the main thing that needs the major consideration is to keep the patient alive and that is what the biggest challenge is that lies ahead and the main concern of the healthcare providers.
Thus the researchers have come to the conclusion by doing various studies that after two or three years of tamoxifen, the patient should be switched to aromatase inhibitors as the results indicate that women who were switched to Arimidex after being on tamoxifen for a few years had a 29 percent more likely survival rate to be alive 2½ years later. About 4.5 percent of the women who continued on tamoxifen died, as compared with only 3.3 percent of those who switched to Arimidex.
Women who switched drugs also had a 41 percent lower risk of having cancer again.
The other study was conducted on women was with the drug Femara, who had completed the initially recommended five years of tamoxifen.
The study showed that women taking Femara had significantly lower rates of cancer recurrence than those who received just tamoxifen. Though doctors do not know the optimal length of time Femara or any other aromatase inhibitor should be taken.
I believe that this research would bring hope to all the women who are going through this lethal disease.