GENOA, Italy, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- For breast-cancer patients taking tamoxifen, switching to an aromatase inhibitor within three years improves survival rates, says an Italian study.
Hormone modulating therapies have made a significant impact on the survival rates of women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer over the last two decades, according to study leader Dr. Francesco Boccardo of the National Cancer Research Institute and the University of Genoa in Italy.
Boccardo and colleagues pooled data from two studies involving 828 women comparing five-year treatment with tamoxifen alone or tamoxifen for two to three years followed by an aromatase inhibitor for the remaining treatment period.
The researchers found that compared to treatment with tamoxifen alone, all cause mortality risk and breast cancer-related mortality risk both fell significantly for women switching to an aromatase inhibitor. In addition, there was no increased risk of death from other causes in women who were prescribed the aromatase inhibitor, according to the study published in the March 15 issue of Cancer.