ABSTRACT: The Cancer Research UK "Over 50s" trial compared 5 and 2 years of tamoxifen in women with early breast cancer. Results are reported after median follow-up of 10 years.
Between 1987 and 1997, 3,449 patients age 50 to 81 years with operable breast cancer who had been taking 20 mg of tamoxifen for 2 years were randomly assigned to either stop or continue for an additional 3 years, if they were alive and recurrence free. Data on recurrences, new tumors, deaths, and cardiovascular events were obtained (April 2010).
There were 1,103 recurrences, 755 deaths as a result of breast cancer, 621 cardiovascular (CV) events, and 236 deaths as a result of CV events. Fifteen years after starting treatment, for every 100 women who received tamoxifen for 5 years, 5.8 fewer experienced recurrence, compared with those who received tamoxifen for 2 years. The risk of contralateral breast cancer was significantly reduced (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.48 to 1.00). Among women age 50 to 59 years, there was a 35% reduction in CV events (P = .005) and 59% reduction in death as a result of a CV event (P = .02); in older women, the effect was much smaller and not statistically significant.
Taking tamoxifen for the recommended 5 years reduces the risk of recurrence or contralateral breast cancer 15 years after starting treatment. It also lowers the risk of CV disease and death as a result of a CV event, particularly among those age 50 to 59 years. Women should therefore be encouraged to complete the full course. Although aromatase inhibitors improve disease-free survival, tamoxifen remains a cheap and highly effective alternative, particularly in developing countries.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 03/2011; 29(13):1657-63. · 18.37 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Between 1990 and 2000, we examined the effect of timing of non-platinum chemotherapy when combined with radiotherapy. We aimed to determine whether giving chemotherapy concurrently with radiotherapy or as maintenance therapy, or both, affected clinical outcome. Here we report survival and recurrence after 10 years of follow-up.
Between Jan 15, 1990, and June 20, 2000, 966 patients were recruited from 34 centres in the UK and two centres from Malta and Turkey. Patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer, and who had not previously undergone surgery, were randomly assigned to one of four groups in a 3:2:2:2 ratio, stratified by centre and chemotherapy regimen: radical radiotherapy alone (n=233); radiotherapy with two courses of chemotherapy given simultaneously on days 1 and 14 of radiotherapy (SIM alone; n=166); or 14 and 28 days after completing radiotherapy (SUB alone, n=160); or both (SIM+SUB; n=154). Chemotherapy was either methotrexate alone, or vincristine, bleomycin, methotrexate, and fluorouracil. Patients who had previously undergone radical surgery to remove their tumour were only randomised to radiotherapy alone (n=135) or SIM alone (n=118), in a 3:2 ratio. The primary endpoints were overall survival (from randomisation), and event-free survival (EFS; recurrence, new tumour, or death; whichever occurred first) among patients who were disease-free 6 months after randomisation. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered at www.Clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT00002476.
All 966 patients were included in the analyses. Among patients who did not undergo surgery, the median overall survival was 2.6 years (99% CI 1.9-4.2) in the radiotherapy alone group, 4.7 (2.6-7.8) years in the SIM alone group, 2.3 (1.6-3.5) years in the SUB alone group, and 2.7 (1.6-4.7) years in the SIM+SUB group (p=0.10). The corresponding median EFS were 1.0 (0.7-1.4), 2.2 (1.1-6.0), 1.0 (0.6-1.5), and 1.0 (0.6-2.0) years (p=0.005), respectively. For every 100 patients given SIM alone, there are 11 fewer EFS events (99% CI 1-21), compared with 100 given radiotherapy, 10 years after treatment. Among the patients who had previously undergone surgery, median overall survival was 5.0 (99% CI 1.8-8.0) and 4.6 (2.2-7.6) years in the radiotherapy alone and SIM alone groups (p=0.70), respectively, with corresponding median EFS of 3.7 (99% CI 1.1-5.9) and 3.0 (1.2-5.6) years (p=0.85), respectively. The percentage of patients who had a significant toxicity during treatment were: 11% (radiotherapy alone, n=25), 28% (SIM alone, n=47), 12% (SUB alone, n=19), and 36% (SIM+SUB, n=55) among patients without previous surgery; and 9% (radiotherapy alone, n=12) and 20% (SIM alone, n=24) among those who had undergone previous surgery. The most common toxicity during treatment was mucositis. The percentage of patients who had a significant toxicity at least 6 months after randomisation were: 6% (radiotherapy alone, n=13), 6% (SIM alone, n=10), 4% (SUB alone, n=7), and 6% (SIM+SUB, n=9) among patients who had no previous surgery; and 7% (radiotherapy alone, n=10) and 11% (SIM alone, n=13) among those who had undergone previous surgery. The most common toxicity 6 months after treatment was xerostomia, but this occurred in 3% or less of patients in each group.
Concurrent non-platinum chemoradiotherapy reduces recurrences, new tumours, and deaths in patients who have not undergone previous surgery, even 10 years after starting treatment. Chemotherapy given after radiotherapy (with or without concurrent chemotherapy) is ineffective. Patients who have undergone previous surgery for head and neck cancer do not benefit from non-platinum chemotherapy.
Cancer Research UK, with support from University College London and University College London Hospital Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre.
The lancet oncology 10/2009; 11(1):66-74. · 14.47 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Systematic reviews have found that luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists are effective in treating premenopausal women with early breast cancer.
We conducted long-term follow-up (median 12 years) of 2706 women in the Zoladex In Premenopausal Patients (ZIPP), which evaluated the LHRH agonist goserelin (3.6 mg injection every 4 weeks) and tamoxifen (20 or 40 mg daily), given for 2 years. Women were randomly assigned to receive each therapy alone, both, or neither, after primary therapy (surgery with or without radiotherapy/chemotherapy). Hazard ratios and absolute risk differences were used to assess the effect of goserelin treatment on event-free survival (breast cancer recurrence, new tumor or death), overall survival, risk of recurrence of breast cancer, and risk of dying from breast cancer, in the presence or absence of tamoxifen.
Fifteen years after the initiation of treatment, for every 100 women not given tamoxifen, there were 13.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 17.5 to 19.4) fewer events among those who were treated with goserelin compared with those who were not treated with goserelin. However, among women who did take tamoxifen, there were 2.8 fewer events (95% CI = 7.7 fewer to 2.0 more) per 100 women treated with goserelin compared with those not treated with goserelin. The risk of dying from breast cancer was also reduced at 15 years: For every 100 women given goserelin, the number of breast cancer deaths was lower by 2.6 (95% CI = 6.6 fewer to 2.1 more) and 8.5 (95% CI = 2.2 to 13.7) in those who did and did not take tamoxifen, respectively, although in the former group the difference was not statistically significant.
Two years of goserelin treatment was as effective as 2 years of tamoxifen treatment 15 years after starting therapy. In women who did not take tamoxifen, there was a large benefit of goserelin treatment on survival and recurrence, and in women who did take tamoxifen, there was a marginal potential benefit on these outcomes when goserelin was added.
CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 03/2009; 101(5):341-9. · 14.07 Impact Factor