Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Oncol. 2005 Feb 1;23(4):808-15.

Evaluation of tamoxifen and anastrozole in the prevention of gynecomastia and breast pain induced by bicalutamide monotherapy of prostate cancer.

Author information

  • 1University and National Cancer Research Institute, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.



To determine whether tamoxifen or anastrozole prevents gynecomastia and breast pain caused by bicalutamide (150 mg) without compromising efficacy, safety, or sexual functioning.


A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed in patients with localized, locally advanced, or biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. Patients (N = 114) were randomly assigned to either bicalutamide (150 mg/d) plus placebo or in combination with tamoxifen (20 mg/d) or anastrozole (1 mg/d) for 48 weeks. Gynecomastia, breast pain, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), sexual functioning, and serum levels of hormones were assessed.


Gynecomastia developed in 73% of patients in the bicalutamide group, 10% of patients in the bicalutamide-tamoxifen group, and 51% of patients in the bicalutamide-anastrozole group (P < .001); breast pain developed in 39%, 6%, and 27% of patients, respectively (P = .006). Baseline PSA level decreased by > or = 50% in 97%, 97%, and 83% of patients in the bicalutamide, bicalutamide-tamoxifen, and bicalutamide-anastrozole groups, respectively (P = .07); and adverse events were reported in 37%, 35%, and 69% of patients, respectively (P = .004). There were no major differences among treatments in sexual functioning parameters from baseline to month 6. Elevated testosterone levels occurred in each group; however, free testosterone levels remained unchanged in the bicalutamide-tamoxifen group because of increased sex hormone-binding globulin levels.


Anastrozole did not significantly reduce the incidence of bicalutamide-induced gynecomastia and breast pain. In contrast, tamoxifen was effective, without increasing adverse events, at least in the short-term follow-up. These data support the need for a larger study to determine any effect on mortality.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk