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Goserelin Treatment Shows Similar Benefits As Tamoxifen

The drug decreases risks of recurrence and breast cancer mortality

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The use of goserelin was associated with improved rates of survival and recurrence over the long term in women with breast cancer, according to research published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Allan Hackshaw, of University College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,706 premenopausal women with breast cancer treated with primary therapy who were randomized to receive either goserelin or tamoxifen, or both treatments for two years, or no endocrine therapy.

In those not taking tamoxifen, goserelin was linked to a 33 percent decrease in risk of an event-free survival event (recurrence, new tumor or death), a 34 percent decrease in risk of recurrence, and a 29 percent decrease in risk of breast cancer mortality, the investigators found. A smaller benefit from the drug was seen in women also taking tamoxifen, the researchers report.

"In summary, long-term follow-up of our large trial showed that goserelin had a demonstrable effect on survival and recurrence 15 years after starting treatment and is as effective as tamoxifen when each are given for two years," the authors conclude. "It may be that women who are unlikely to complete five years of tamoxifen tablets may prefer two years of goserelin injections. It may also be reasonable to recommend both therapies to minimize the reduction in bone mineral density associated with endocrine treatment."

AstraZeneca (the maker of goserelin), Cancer Research UK, and the King Gustaf V Jubilee Fund supported the study. A co-author disclosed other relationships with AstraZeneca.

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