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    ABSTRACT: This trial was undertaken to evaluate the effect of adjuvant tamoxifen on bone metabolism in postmenopausal women undergoing surgery for low-risk breast cancer. In an open trial, 25 women were randomized to receive tamoxifen 30 mg/d for 2 years, and 25 women constituted the control group. Twenty women treated with tamoxifen and 23 women in the control group provided data for the analysis. Inclusion criteria were operation for low-risk breast cancer and cessation of menstruations for more than 1 year. Exclusion criteria were presence of metastases, disorders of bone metabolism, contraindications against tamoxifen, use of drugs with influence on bone metabolism, ailments that made bone mineral measurements impossible, and age greater than 65 years. Repeated measurements of bone mineral density and content at the lumbar spine and forearms, serum alkaline phosphatase, phosphate, and ionized calcium were performed in all patients. Lumbar spine bone mineral density increased during the first year in women treated with tamoxifen and then stabilized, compared with decreased bone mineral density in the control group (P = .00074). Bone mineral content at the forearms remained almost stable in tamoxifen-treated women compared with a decrease in the control group (P = .024). Serum alkaline phosphatase, phosphate, and ionized calcium decreased in the tamoxifen group (P < .00001, P = .002, and P = .002, respectively). Tamoxifen has estrogen-like effects on bone metabolism that result in an increase and stabilization of bone mineral density in the axial skeleton and a stabilization of bone mineral content in the appendicular skeleton.
    No preview · Article · May 1994 · Journal of Clinical Oncology