Health & Medicine

Tamoxifen Can Save Lives And Medical Costs

Note from Winnerscience: Hi friends, most of us may know about the side effects of medicine “Tamoxifen” taken by women as a preventive measure against breast cancer. For the information of our readers, breast cancer is caused due to the certain changes in DNA that results in normal breast cells to become cancer. (DNA is the chemical in each of our cells that makes up our genes — the instructions for how our cells work). Some inherited DNA changes called mutations can increase the risk for developing cancer and cause the cancers that run in some families. But most breast cancer DNA changes happen in single breast cells during a woman’s life rather than having been inherited. So far, the causes of most of the DNA mutations that could lead to breast cancer are not known.

Researchers at the Archimedes Inc. in San Francisco, investigated and concluded that Tamoxifen, saves lives and reduces medical costs. This research is published in journal Cancer (The Journal Cancer is a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society) This widely referenced publication published articles related to human cancer including, but not limited to: biologic response modifiers, clinical observations, chemotherapy, clinical trials, detection, epidemiology, ethical issues, etiology, genetics and cytogenetics, imaging, immunology and immunotherapy, oncogenes, pathology and clinicopathologic correlations, prevention, psychosocial studies, radiation therapy, screening, staging, and surgical therapy. It has impact factor of 5.418).

Let us discuss how they came to this conclusion that by taking tamoxifen prevent breast cancer, can save lives and money:

Peter Alperin, MD, of Archimedes Inc. in San Francisco, and his colleagues used a mathematical model to simulate a post-menopausal population under age 55 years in a virtual clinical trial comparing tamoxifen treatment with no treatment. This was done to to investigate those women who would benefit the most from taking tamoxifen as a cancer preventive drug, The investigators modeled tamoxifen therapy based on an analysis of four randomized, placebo-controlled cancer prevention trials, and they assessed the effects that tamoxifen would have on women’s breast cancer risk for 10 years following the end of treatment. Cancer incidences and survival information were taken from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results cancer registry, while factors such as non-cancer disease incidences, quality of life, and costs were taken from the medical literature.

Research has shown that tamoxifen can protect against breast cancer for years after treatment ends, but identifying the group of women who can most benefit from the drug as a cancer preventive agent, without experiencing serious side effects, is a challenge. Side effects of the drug can include pulmonary embolism, endometrial cancer, deep vein thrombosis, and cataracts, as well as hot flashes and early menopause.

The researchers found that in post-menopausal women ages 55 years and younger with a 5-year risk of developing breast cancer of 1.66 percent or greater, the benefits of tamoxifen are maximized while its side effects are minimized. Dr. Alperin said “In this group of women, using tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer saves lives and has a low frequency of side effects”. He further added that it also saves medical costs. “Specifically, chemoprevention with tamoxifen prevents 29 breast cancer cases and 9 breast cancer deaths per 1,000 women treated, and it saves $47,580 per 1,000 women treated in the United States.”

Conclusion: This study proved that Tamoxifen, saves lives and reduces medical costs. These findings may help physicians and their patients as they strive to identify optimal breast cancer prevention options for individual women based on their current health and demographic profile. Similarly, investigators can use mathematical modeling and cost-effectiveness analyses, such as those described in this research, to explore different prevention strategies and evaluate their impact on health and economic outcomes.

News Source:

The above news is edited by the winnerscience staff and it is originally provided by the Wiley-Blackwell.

Journal Reference

“Cost-effectiveness of chemoprevention of breast cancer using tamoxifen in a post-menopausal U.S. population.” Joyce Noah-Vanhoucke, Linda E. Green, Tuan A. Dinh, Peter Alperin, and Robert A. Smith. CANCER; Published Online: March 14, 2011 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25926).

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