Tamoxifen May Not Work as Well for Every Patient

Tamoxifen is a common drug used for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, treated and are using the drug in hopes of preventing a recurrence of the cancer. According to recent online industry article tamoxifen may not work exactly the same in every patient. According to the article breast cancer patients who have a specific genetic liver enzyme alteration do not respond well to the hormone therapy tamoxifen because they have a difficult time metabolizing the drug, which leads to an increased risk of death as well as recurrence. This discovery was derived from a study completed by researchers from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and The Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group. It was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. Specifically the research found that women with alterations of the liver enzyme CYP 2-D6 were not able to metabolize the drug as well as those with a normal enzyme activity and this led to severe complications. The study involved carefully following the recurrence of cancer as well as deaths among two groups of women who had been prescribed different forms of breast cancer treatment. The first group was comprised of postmenopausal women with primary estrogen receptor positive breast cancer who only received tamoxifen therapy for five years, the second group of women took tamoxifen for two years and then went on to take and aromatase inhibitor(not requiring the CYP 2-D6 enzyme) known as an anastrozole for an additional three years. They discovered that women who had significant genetic alterations of CYP 2-D6 were 2.5 times more likely to develop a recurrence of cancer or succumb when compared to women with normal CYP 2-D6 activity. The recurrence of cancer and death was 1.7 times more when compared with women who had intermediate levels of the enzyme. These studies highlight the importance of doctors monitoring patient’s response to post breast cancer drug therapy. Following a breast cancer diagnosis patient is likely to have a lifelong history of follow-up with physicians to monitor her progress. Dr. Seify encourages patients through the process task plenty of questions and get a clear idea of what they can expect throughout treatment. Patients who choose to have breast reconstruction following their breast cancer diagnosis are given specific options available to them which could include traditional breast cancer reconstruction methods using tissue expanders and tram flap methods as well as newer fat injection and stem cell options. Dr. Seify’s recommendation is based on many different factors however patients can be assured that is talent and expertise as a board-certified plastic surgeon serves his patients well. Patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer and are considering breast cancer reconstruction are encouraged to contact Dr. Seify and schedule a consultation.

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