Toxicity indicates success in breast cancer

Vasomotor and joint symptoms in breast cancer patients receiving endocrine treatment may indicate treatment success, according to a retrospective analysis of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial. The analysis showed 1,486 out of 3,964 women reporting new vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes, cold, and night sweats) at three-month follow-up. These women had a lower risk of subsequent disease recurrence (HR 0.84, p = 0.04) than those not reporting such symptoms. A greater decrease in breast cancer recurrence was seen among the 1,245 women who reported new joint symptoms at three-month follow-up (HR 0.60, p <0.0001) compared with those without such symptoms.

Cuzick J, Sestak I, Cella D et al. Lancet Oncol 2008; doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(08)70259-6

Originally published in the November 2008 edition of MIMS Oncology & Palliative Care.

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