Managing the risk of invasive breast cancer in women at risk for breast cancer and osteoporosis: the role of raloxifene
Victor G Vogel
The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Magee-Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Abstract: Raloxifene hydrochloride is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that has antiestrogenic effects on breast and endometrial tissue and estrogenic effects on bone, lipid metabolism, and blood clotting. Raloxifene significantly improves serum lipids and serum markers of cardiovascular disease risk, but it has no significant effect on the risk of primary coronary events. A meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of raloxifene for osteoporosis showed the odds of fracture risk were 0.60 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.49–0.74) for raloxifene 60 mg/day compared with placebo. During 8 years of follow-up in an osteoporosis trial, the raloxifene group had a 76% reduction in the incidence of invasive ER-positive breast cancer compared with the placebo group. In the STAR trial, the incidence of invasive breast cancer was 4.30 per 1000 women-years with raloxifene and 4.41 per 1000 with tamoxifen; RR = 1.02; 95% CI, 0.82–1.28. The effect of raloxifene on invasive breast cancer was, therefore, equivalent to that of tamoxifen with more favorable rates of adverse effects including uterine malignancy and clotting events. Millions of postmenopausal women could derive net benefit from raloxifene through reduced rates of fracture and invasive breast cancer.
Keywords: raloxifene, osteoporosis, breast cancer risk reduction
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