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Dig Dis Sci. 2014 Jun;59(6):1244-54. doi: 10.1007/s10620-013-2994-1. Epub 2013 Dec 25.

Chronic tamoxifen use is associated with a decreased risk of intestinal metaplasia in human gastric epithelium.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 108, Pyung-Dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, 110-746, Republic of Korea,



Intestinal metaplasia (IM), a premalignant lesion, is associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer. Although estrogen exposure, including tamoxifen, has been studied in correlation with gastric cancer, little has been investigated about its effects on IM.


Therefore, we investigated whether chronic tamoxifen use was associated with the risk of IM in human stomach.


We evaluated 512 gastric biopsies from 433 female breast cancer patients that underwent endoscopic gastroduodenoscopy (EGD) ≥6 months after breast surgery. Histopathological findings were scored according to the updated Sydney classification. Demographic and clinical characteristics were also included to identify predictive factors for IM.


In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, age at EGD (odds ratio [OR], 1.04; P = 0.002), biopsies from antrum (OR 2.08; P < 0.001), and Helicobacter pylori positivity (OR 1.68; P = 0.016) were significantly associated with an increased risk of IM, whereas chronic tamoxifen use (≥3 months) was associated with a decreased risk of IM (OR 0.59; P = 0.025). After stratifying by biopsy site, association between tamoxifen use and IM persisted for corpus (OR 0.42; P = 0.026) but not for antrum (OR 0.74; P = 0.327). In analysis limited to patients with follow-up EGD, chronic tamoxifen use also correlated with improved IM score compared to no tamoxifen use (improved, 77.8 vs. 22.2%; no change, 65.4 vs. 34.6%; worsened, 30.0 vs. 70.0%; P = 0.019).


This study suggests that chronic tamoxifen use can decrease the risk of IM in human stomach. The effect of tamoxifen is predominantly observed in the corpus.

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