Antioestrogens are used in the hormonal treatment of breast cancer. The gold standard is tamoxifen which is primarily an oestrogen receptor antagonist with some agonist acitivity.
Tamoxifen taken for 5 years following surgical treatment is a standard part of the treatment regime for postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. If used in this context then tamoxifen:
- increases the proportion of women who survive for at least 10 years from about 50% to 60% among those with lymph-node involvement
- increases the proportion of women who survive for at least 10 years without lymph-node involvement from about 73% to 79%
- almost halves the risk of development of cancer in the contralateral breast
- Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (2003), 41 (8), 57-59.
Last reviewed 01/2018