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Breast. 2009 Apr;18(2):78-83. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

Initial treatment and changes in adjuvant endocrine therapy for early stage breast cancer.

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Accelerated Community Oncology Research Network, Memphis, TN 38138, USA.


Clinical trials have shown that aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are an important advance in the treatment of early stage breast cancer (ESBC), but practice patterns and the impact of treatment side effects of endocrine therapy in the community setting have not been extensively explored. This retrospective chart review describes practice patterns among patients receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy for ESBC. Charts of 200 patients with confirmed stage I-IIIA breast cancer were reviewed. Patients received first-line treatment with tamoxifen (n=96) or AIs (n=104). Fifty-one patients completed a structured interview regarding symptom burden during therapy. Time to discontinuation or switching from first-line therapy did not vary by drug class (tamoxifen vs. AI). Musculoskeletal symptoms predicted time to switching among AI patients. Tamoxifen patients who switched to AIs tended to do so following clinical guidelines for use of AIs. Interview results showed that more anastrozole than tamoxifen patients cited side effects as the reason for switching.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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