The breast cancer drug Anastrozole (arimidex) works better than tamoxifen when the long-term benefits are assessed, a new study claims.
The research, published in The Lancet Oncology, suggests that arimidex has clear long-term superior efficacy over its more common rival, and that the benefits continue even after a patient stops taking it.
The study looked at the safety of tamoxifen – which is sold as Nolvadex, Istubal and Valodex in the UK – with the aromatase inhibitor Anastrozole, as well as a combination of both drugs.
Scientists also suggest that there is no significant difference in the incidence of heart disease between the treatment groups, which had previously been an area of concern.
The authors concluded: “The findings of this report extend the previously reported superior efficacy of anastrozole over tamoxifen at 68 months of follow-up to 100 months.
“We also show a carry over benefit for recurrence in the hormone-receptor-positive population which is larger than that previously shown for tamoxifen.”
Dr Emma Pennery, nurse consultant at Breast Cancer Care, said: “Postmenopausal women currently being treated with Anastrozole and those who could benefit from taking it will welcome these latest results.
“From our daily contact with hundreds of people living with breast cancer we know that many will be delighted to see this latest evidence of success.”
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