Low-Dose Tamoxifen for ADH, LCIS, and DCIS

Tamoxifen is often used to prevent recurrence of hormonally driven breast cancer after surgery; however, it can cause significant side effects that adversely affect the quality of life of patients. It has previously been thought that a lower dose of tamoxifen (5 mg) might be as effective as the standard dose (20 mg), but with fewer side effects. In a phase III clinical trial of 500 women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), or atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), patients were randomized to receive low-dose tamoxifen (5 mg daily) or placebo for three years after surgery. At the follow-up period of 5.1 years after the completion of the three-year treatment period, there were 14 recurrences in the low-dose tamoxifen group versus 29 recurrences in the placebo group. Most recurrences were invasive breast cancer (stage I or higher). The number of recurrences in the low-dose group are comparable to prior studies with standard-dose tamoxifen. The main conclusion from the study was that low-dose tamoxifen is a valid treatment option for preventing recurrence in women with ADH, LCIS, and DCIS. It is important to note that this study cannot draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of low-dose tamoxifen as a treatment option for women with invasive breast cancer.
(Abstract GS3-01) Highlights from the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
By Anh Diep, VMD, PhD Candidate, and Erika Bell, PhD, Manager of Medical Information, Bay Area Cancer Connections
​In early December 2018, thousands of researchers from across the world convened in San Antonio, Texas, for the 41st Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This five-day symposium brought together experts in basic, translational, and clinical research; clinicians; and patient advocates to present and discuss advances in breast cancer research and treatment. As progress in breast cancer continues, the challenges remain: to personalize treatment based on characteristics of the cancer, to minimize over- and under-treatment, and to maximize quality of life. This article highlights several of the talks from the 2018 symposium that are most likely to have a direct impact on the clinical care of breast cancer patients. For access to complete symposium resources, including abstracts, posters, and presentations, visit sabcs.org.