According to an article recently published in the journal Cancer, previous chemotherapy does not compromise the effectiveness of later treatment with Arimidex® (anastrozole) in postmenopausal women with early-stage, hormone-positive breast cancer.
Hormone-positive breast cancer is a common type of breast cancer that is stimulated to grow from exposure to the female hormones estrogen and/or progesterone. Women with hormone-positive breast cancer are typically treated with hormone therapy, a type of therapy that reduces or prevents estrogen and progesterone from stimulating the growth and spread of cancer cells. Hormone therapy reduces the risk of a cancer recurrence and improves cancer-free survival for patients with hormone-positive breast cancer.
Researchers affiliated with the ATAC trial (anastrozole and tamoxifen, alone or in combination), a large trial that compared Arimidex to tamoxifen (Nolvadex®) in postmenopausal women with early-stage, hormone-positive breast cancer, recently evaluated data to determine if earlier treatment with chemotherapy affected the benefits of subsequent treatment with Arimidex in these patients. Arimidex and tamoxifen are both agents that are used as hormone therapy to reduce the risk of recurrences in hormone-positive breast cancer.
At 68 months follow-up, the following results were reported:
- There were no significant differences in the time before cancer recurred among women who had received prior chemotherapy compared to those who did not receive prior chemotherapy.
- There were no significant differences among patients treated with different chemotherapy regimens prior to treatment with Arimidex.
The researchers concluded that previous chemotherapy does not affect the benefits achieved with subsequent treatment with Arimidex in postmenopausal women with hormone-positive breast cancer. These results should help ease concern among women who have undergone prior therapy.
Reference: Buzdar A, Guastalla J-P, Nabholtz J-M, et al. Impact of Chemotherapy Regimens Prior to Endocrine Therapy. Cancer. Early online publication June 27, 2006. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.22042.