10 Years of Tamoxifen is Superior to 5 years of Tamoxifen

Debu Tripathy, MD, Co-Leader, Women's Cancer Program, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, discusses two important trials in breast cancer looking at extended hormonal therapy.

Debu Tripathy, MD, Co-Leader, Women's Cancer Program, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, discusses two important trials in breast cancer looking at extended hormonal therapy.

It is understood now that 10 years of tamoxifen is superior to 5 years in premenopausal patients with high-risk, early-stage disease. However, Tripathy says, most patients are postmenopausal and see benefit when treated with aromatase inhibitors. The question remains as to whether these patients could see benefit when treated with 10 years of an aromatase inhibitor compared to 5 years.

Clinical Pearls

While these results may not be the most scientifically interesting, Tripathy says, they will surely affect many patients.

  • For patients who are premenopausal with high-risk, early-stage breast cancer, 10 years of tamoxifen has shown superiority to 5 years of tamoxifen
  • In postmenopausal women, aromatase inhibitors have demonstrated superiority and a better side effect profile
  • Two large studies look to answer the question as to whether extended use (10 years) of aromatase inhibitors will show benefit compared to 5 years