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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1999 Jul;56(2):133-43.

Meta-analysis of trials comparing toremifene with tamoxifen and factors predicting outcome of antiestrogen therapy in postmenopausal women with breast cancer.

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Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Turku University Central Hospital, Finland.


Meta-analysis of all clinical data was conducted to compare toremifene 40-60 mg/day (TOR) with tamoxifen 20-40 mg/day (TAM) in postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER) positive or ER unknown advanced breast cancer and assess factors predicting treatment outcome. Data from five randomized parallel group studies (all studies) were combined. Efficacy variables were the response rate in all studies and also the time to treatment failure and survival in the three major studies (pivotal studies). Of the 1421 patients, 725 received TOR and 696 TAM. Response rates were 24.0% and 25.3%, respectively (p = 0.675) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the difference -5.3 to 3.4. Of the 1157 patients in the pivotal studies, 75% had progressed and 50% expired. Median treatment times were 4.9 months in TOR and 5.3 months in TAM groups (p = 0.762, hazard ratio 0.98 with 95% CI 0.87-1.11). Median survival times were 31.0 (TOR) and 33.1 (TAM) months (p = 0.758, hazard ratio 0.98 with 95% CI 0.83-1.15). All results are consistent with the criteria of statistical equivalence between TOR and TAM. More patients in TAM (20%) than in TOR (14%, p = 0.007) discontinued the treatment prematurely but overall the treatments were well tolerated. As the treatments were equally effective all data were analyzed together for predictive factors. High tumor ER concentration, long disease free time, soft tissue metastases, few metastatic sites, and good performance status all independently predicted longer survival (p<0.001). Previous adjuvant tamoxifen predicted shorter survival (p = 0.008). Objective response to treatment or disease stabilization for at least 12 months both predicted prolonged survival (p = 0.001). TOR 60 mg/day and TAM are equally effective and well tolerated in the treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Probability of survival may be predicted based on patient characteristics and on the initial response to the treatment.

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