3,385 research outputs found

    Patients' preferences for adjuvant endocrine therapy in early breast cancer: what makes it worthwhile?

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    Adjuvant endocrine therapy improves recurrence and survival rates, but has side effects and is inconvenient. The aim of this study was to determine the preferences of premenopausal women who had adjuvant endocrine therapy in a randomised trial. In all, 85 (or eighty-five) women completed semistructured interviews 6–30 months after finishing adjuvant endocrine therapy. Hypothetical scenarios based on known potential survival times (5 or 15 years) and rates (60% or 80% at 5 years) without adjuvant endocrine therapy were used to determine the smallest gains women judged necessary to make their adjuvant endocrine therapy worthwhile. Although a third of the women considered gains of 1% in survival rates or 6 months in survival times sufficient to make their adjuvant endocrine therapy worthwhile, more than half the women required gains of at least 5% in survival rates or 3 years in survival time as necessary to make adjuvant endocrine therapy worthwhile. Larger benefits were required by women who had longer treatment, worse side effects, and by those who were treated with goserelin alone. The route of administration (tablet vs injection) did not affect preferences and some women judged small benefits sufficient to make their adjuvant endocrine therapy worthwhile, but many women required larger benefits than their counterparts in similar studies of preferences for adjuvant chemotherapy

    Cost-utility of adjuvant zoledronic acid in patients with breast cancer and low estrogen levels

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    BACKGROUND: Adjuvant zoledronic acid (za) appears to improve disease-free survival (dfs) in women with early-stage breast cancer and low levels of estrogen (lle) because of induced or natural menopause. Characterizing the cost-utility (cu) of this therapy could help to determine its role in clinical practice. METHODS: Using the perspective of the Canadian health care system, we examined the cu of adjuvant endocrine therapy with or without za in women with early-stage endocrine-sensitive breast cancer and lle. A Markov model was used to compute the cumulative costs in Canadian dollars and the quality-adjusted life-years (qalys) gained from each adjuvant strategy, discounted at a rate of 5% annually. The model incorporated the dfs and fracture benefits of adjuvant za. Probabilistic and one-way sensitivity analyses were conducted to examine key model parameters. RESULTS: Compared with a no-za strategy, adjuvant za in the induced and natural menopause groups was associated with, respectively, 7,825and7,825 and 7,789 in incremental costs and 0.46 and 0.34 in qaly gains for cu ratios of 17,007and17,007 and 23,093 per qaly gained. In one-way sensitivity analyses, the results were most sensitive to changes in the za dfs benefit. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis suggested a 100% probability of adjuvant za being a cost-effective strategy at a threshold of $100,000 per qaly gained. CONCLUSIONS: Based on available data, adjuvant za appears to be a cost-effective strategy in women with endocrine-sensitive breast cancer and lle, having cu ratios well below accepted thresholds

    Current medical treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer

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    Approximately 80% of breast cancers (BC) are estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and thus endocrine therapy (ET) should be considered complementary to surgery in the majority of patients. The advantages of oophorectomy, adrenalectomy and hypophysectomy in women with advanced BC have been demonstrated many years ago, and currently ET consist of (i) ovarian function suppression (OFS), usually obtained using gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa), (ii) selective estrogen receptor modulators or down-regulators (SERMs or SERDs), (iii) aromatase inhibitors (AIs), or a combination of two or more drugs. For patients aged less than 50 years and ER+ BC, there is no conclusive evidence that the combination of OFS and SERMs (i.e. tamoxifen) or chemotherapy is superior to OFS alone. Tamoxifen users exhibit a reduced risk of BC, both invasive and in situ, especially during the first 5 years of therapy, and extending the treatment to 10 years further reduced the risk of recurrences. SERDs (i.e. fulvestrant) are especially useful in the neoadjuvant treatment of advanced BC, alone or in combination with either cytotoxic agents or AIs. There are two types of AIs: type I are permanent steroidal inhibitors of aromatase, while type II are reversible nonsteroidal inhibitors. Several studies demonstrated the superiority of the third-generation AIs (i.e. anastrozole and letrozole) compared with tamoxifen, and adjuvant therapy with AIs reduces the recurrence risk especially in patients with advanced BC. Unfortunately, some cancers are or became ET-resistant, and thus other drugs have been suggested in combination with SERMs or AIs, including cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitors (palbociclib) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, such as everolimus. Further studies are required to confirm their real usefulness

    Clinical response to primary letrozole therapy in elderly patients with early breast cancer : possible role for p53 as a biomarker

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    Primary tamoxifen therapy has been widely used to treat elderly women with ER-positive breast cancer in the past. Aromatase inhibitors may be more beneficial than tamoxifen when used as primary endocrine therapy in elderly patients. We aimed to retrospectively evaluate a series of elderly women with ER-positive breast cancer treated with primary letrozole therapy as sole therapy with a minimum of 5 years follow up. To identify possible predictive biomarkers a pilot immunohistochemical analysis was performed to assess the expression of PR, HER2, EGFR, BCL2 and p53. A total of 45 women, aged more than 70 years with a diagnosis of ER-positive breast cancer that was treated with primary letrozole therapy were identified. A case note review was undertaken to obtain clinical information. Formalin fixed paraffin embedded tumour tissue from diagnostic core biopsies was available for all patients. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to establish the protein expression status of p53, PR, HER2, EGFR and BCL2. The mean age of the 45 patients was 87 years (range 70–101). Clinical benefit was seen in 60% of the patients. Median progression free survival was 53 months (95% CI – 34–72) and the median time to progression was 43 months (95% CI – 22–64). BCL2 was expressed in 45/45 (100%); PR in 38/45 (84%); EGFR in 13/45 (28%); HER2 in 9/45 (20%) and p53 in 5/45 (11%) of tissue samples. Positive expression of p53 was associated with poor progression free survival (p = 0.03) in this pilot study. This study demonstrates that letrozole as sole treatment appears to be a suitable treatment option for elderly patients with ER-positive breast cancer who are not fit for, or decline, surgery. The analysis of p53 in a larger study is warranted in order to assess its role as a biomarker in this patient group

    A clinical guide to the management of genitourinary symptoms in breast cancer survivors on endocrine therapy.

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    There is increasing attention and concern about managing the adverse effects of adjuvant endocrine therapy for women with early breast cancer as the side effects of therapy influence compliance and can impair quality of life (QoL). Most side effects associated with tamoxifen (TAM) and aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are directly related to estrogen deprivation, and the symptoms are similar to those experienced during natural menopause but appear to be more severe than that seen in the general population. Prolonged estrogen deprivation may lead to atrophy of the vulva, vagina, lower urinary tract and supporting pelvic structures, resulting in a range of genitourinary symptoms that can in turn lead to pain, discomfort, impairment of sexual function and negatively impact on multiple domains of QoL. The genitourinary side effects may be prevented, reduced and managed in most cases but this requires early recognition and appropriate treatment. We provide an overview of practical clinical approaches to understanding the pathophysiology and the management of genitourinary symptoms in postmenopausal women receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer

    Provider perspectives on patient-provider communication for adjuvant endocrine therapy symptom management

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    Providers’ communication skills play a key role in encouraging breast cancer survivors to report symptoms and adhere to long-term treatments such as adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET). The purpose of this study was to examine provider perspectives on patient-provider communication regarding AET symptom management and to explore whether provider perspectives vary across the multi-disciplinary team of providers involved in survivorship care
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