The following article features coverage from the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) in San Antonio, Texas. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

Adjuvant endocrine therapy improves disease-free survival in women with early stage hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer. There are several therapy options available depending on menopausal status, disease stage, tumor characteristics, comorbidities, and patient preferences. In a presentation at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS 2017), Vered Stearns of Johns Hopkins University discussed the present data on the optimal length of adjuvant endocrine therapy and its expected benefits and toxicities. Presently, the optimal duration of adjuvant endocrine therapy is 5 to 10 years, with only modest benefits observed with longer treatment times.

Stearns advocated for models to help individualize treatment recommendations and advised that clinicians weigh the benefits and potential consequences of treatments for each individual patient. Close follow-ups with physicians during the first year of therapy would help to identify emerging symptoms and provide early interventions to optimize adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy. Stearns recommends that clinicians engage each woman in a continuous discussion regarding duration of treatment that would be most appropriate for her and revisit those recommendations based on evolving clinical trial results or the patient’s life events. Emerging biomarkers may aid in personalizing treatment duration for patients with HR-positive breast cancer.

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Stearns V. Searching for the optimal duration of adjuvant endocrine therapy in breast cancer. Oral presentation at: 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; December 6-9, 2017; San Antonio, TX. Abstract CS1-2.