Bone Quality Test (BQT) scores of fingernails in postmenopausal patients treated with adjuvant letrozole or tamoxifen for early breast cancer

Zhuoxin Sun, Aron Goldhirsch, Karen N. Price, Marco Colleoni, Alberto Ravaioli, Edda Simoncini, Ian Campbell, Richard D. Gelber, Mark Towler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The relationship between nail and bone may be measurable, thus making the fingernail a potentially valuable tool for assessing bone health for women receiving treatment for breast cancer. In the BIG 1-98 Fingernail Pilot Substudy, Bone Quality Test (BQT) scores of fingernails were measured at two assessment timepoints. Methods: Thirteen eligible patients were enrolled into the substudy during their treatment with tamoxifen (four patients) or letrozole (nine patients). Two fingernails were tested and BQT scores averaged for two assessments six months apart. Results: BQT scores collected six months later (second assessment) significantly decreased compared with those at first collection (p = 0.007) regardless of treatment and prior fracture. Conclusion: The reduction of BQT scores observed in the patients of our small exploratory study during exposure to bone-altering breast cancer treatments is an incentive for larger studies using this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-88
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009



  • Bone quality test
  • Breast cancer
  • Fingernail
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Letrozole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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