Exemestane trumps tamoxifen in breast cancer recurrence

The finding is the result of two global trials conducted locally by the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, and presented on Sunday at the annual American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago.

The two randomly controlled trials looked at whether exemestane, which has previously been recommended only for postmenopausal women, could also be effective when combined with ovarian function suppression in premenopausal women with hormone-responsive breast cancer. 

Suppression of oestrogen production was via triptorelin, oophorectomy or ovarian irradiation, and just over half the women also received chemotherapy as advised by their doctor. 

The trials, which combined results from 4690 women worldwide, found that treatment with exemestane plus ovarian function suppression reduced the risk of developing any invasive cancer by 28% and reduced the risk of developing further breast cancer by 34%, compared with tamoxifen