Updated Results Show Tamoxifen Continues to Prevent Breast Cancer
Updated results from the first-ever, large-scale breast cancer chemoprevention trial show that 5 years of tamoxifen (Nolvadex) decreases the risk of invasive and noninvasive breast cancer among women at increased risk, even after they've stopped taking the drug. According to the study authors, approximately 2.5 million women in the United States are at significant enough breast cancer risk that the potential benefit of prophylactic tamoxifen use significantly outweighs any potential risks.
The findings represent "a beginning from which a new paradigm for breast cancer prevention can evolve," says Dr. Bernard Fisher, principal investigator for the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT). "Cohorts of women at increased risk for breast cancer, who could derive a net benefit from receiving tamoxifen, have been clearly defined."
The results may also dispel some perceptions about chemoprevention, says study co-author Dr. Leslie Ford, associate director of NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention. Read more
Cancer Center Directors Helping to Chart Path to 2015
Last week, I was in Dallas with the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) senior leadership team to host a retreat of the directors of all NCI-designated Cancer Centers. This was the third such retreat and, as with the first two, its goal was to encourage frank discussions and gain honest input from the directors on some of the most pressing issues facing NCI.
The directors recognize the essential role the Cancer Centers must play if we are to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. However, there were concerns among many that the timeline is too ambitious. At the same time, they recognized the substantial opportunities for real progress in the years ahead and were supportive of working with NCI leadership to establish intermediate milestones for reaching the 2015 goal. Read more