The pioneering Royal Marsden Tamoxifen Prevention Trial recruited 2,471 eligible high-risk women to be randomized to either placebo or tamoxifen (20 mg daily) for 8 years. Breast cancer incidence was evaluated at a median of 18.4 years from the start of the study. There was a 32% reduction in estrogen/progesterone receptor (ER/PR)–positive breast cancers after tamoxifen treatment finished. Translational research, to study “the good, the bad, and the ugly of tamoxifen” in the 1980s, subsequently ensured women's safety from possible increases in osteoperosis, coronary heart disease, and endometrial cancer. Other tamoxifen chemoprevention trials followed. The result of laboratory research was the unanticipated discovery of raloxifene to prevent osteoporosis and breast cancer at the same time. A new group of medicines, now known as selective ER modulators, was established. Indeed, the ability to prevent or delay multiple diseases with a single cheap medicine has the potential to alleviate pressure on health care systems that are overwhelmed. It is a priority to educate physicians appropriately to apply recommended proven medicines as preventives. Cancer Prev Res; 15(4); 1–4. ©2017 AACR.
See related article by Detre, et al., Cancer Prev Res 2017;10(3):171–6.
- Received January 24, 2017.
- Revision received February 3, 2017.
- Accepted February 16, 2017.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.