Alternating sequential endocrine therapy: tamoxifen and medroxyprogesterone acetate versus tamoxifen in postmenopausal advanced breast cancer patients

Annals of Oncology : Official Journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology
M BeltránI Tusquets


The effects of tamoxifen (TAM) versus the alternating sequential combination of TAM plus medroxy-progesterone acetate (MPA) has been evaluated in 20 postmenopausal patients with advanced breast cancer in a randomized controlled trial. In the TAM arm, patients received 20 mg b.i.d. of TAM. In the TAM-MPA arm, patients received only 20 mg b.i.d. of TAM for 7 days and, on the following 7 days. TAM plus an oral daily dose of 500 mg of MPA, in alternating sequence. Objective tumor reduction was achieved in 22 (41%) of the 54 patients in the TAM arm and in 25 (43%) of the 58 patients in the TAM-MPA arm. With regard to the stabilization of disease, a significant difference was observed between patients treated with the TAM-MPA combination and those treated with TAM alone (47% vs 22%). The percentage of nonresponders was also significantly higher in the TAM group (37%) than in the TAM-MPA group (10%). The time to progression was significantly shorter for the TAM arm than for the TAM-MPA arm (median, 7 vs 15 months), but the duration of remission was not significantly different for either treatment.

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