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Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2010 Jul;19(3):639-47. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2010.03.006. Epub 2010 May 26.

Adjuvant hormonal therapy for early-stage breast cancer.

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  • 1Breast Oncology Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Adjuvant endocrine treatment is an essential component in therapy for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Among postmenopausal patients, options include tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors, or a sequence of these agents. Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors have distinctive side-effect profiles. Among premenopausal women, tamoxifen remains the standard treatment. The role of ovarian suppression in addition to tamoxifen is under investigation. Questions about the duration of adjuvant endocrine therapy, the use of biomarkers for treatment selection and prognosis, and the management of side effects of adjuvant endocrine therapy remain key areas of investigation.

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