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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2010 Feb;73(2):156-66. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2009.02.001. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Improving compliance and persistence to adjuvant tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor therapy.

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Philipps-University of Marburg, Department of Endocrinology, Reproductive Medicine and Osteoporosis, Germany.


Better compliance and persistence with therapy are associated with improved patient outcomes. As more and more patients survive breast cancer, compliance with adjuvant therapy becomes increasingly important. In clinical trials, compliance with adjuvant endocrine therapy among women with breast cancer is usually high. Retrospective analyses of databases and medical records from clinical practice, insurance databases of prescription refills, and survey data show a significant decrease in persistence after 12 months of therapy. With ongoing therapy, a further decline in persistence of up to 50% has been reported. A consistent methodology is needed to measure patient behavior and identify patients who are not adhering to therapy. Promising strategies for enhancing adherence to treatment in clinical practice include improving access to health care, increasing patient satisfaction, managing side effects, patient education, and better communication between the patient and health care provider. Positive relationships between patients and their health care providers, and frequent monitoring and feedback, may be most effective. While the lack of conformity across studies in measuring makes cross-study comparisons difficult, this review evaluates the available data regarding compliance and persistence with adjuvant endocrine therapies for breast cancer (tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors) and presents strategies for improving adherence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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