Endocrine treatments are key component of the adjuvant strategy for pre-menopausal patients with luminal tumors. Treatment options should be based not only upon the risk of relapse and level of endocrine responsiveness, but also on co-morbidities, preferences of the patient and degree of side effects. Tamoxifen should still be considered as an appropriate endocrine therapy in a large group of premenopausal patients (e.g. lower risk patient, presence of co-morbidities, patient preference). However, the results of the SOFT and TEXT trials, evaluating the value of ovarian function suppression (OFS) as well as the role of adjuvant aromatase inhibitor (AI), raised questions about the use of tamoxifen alone in selected higher risk patient. In the SOFT study, premenopausal patients did not benefit from the addition of OFS, but for those women at sufficient risk of recurrence to deserve adjuvant chemotherapy and who maintained pre-menopausal estradiol, the addition of OFS to tamoxifen reduced the risk of recurrence. Moreover, in the TEXT trial, adjuvant treatment with exemestane plus OFS, as compared with tamoxifen plus OFS, significantly improved disease-free survival, breast cancer-free interval and distant disease-free survival, thus representing a new treatment option. Recent available information on endocrine options for younger patients with luminal tumors support the use of tailored endocrine treatments. Issues specific for younger patients related to pregnancies desire, family planning, safety, quality of life and subjective side effects should be a priority in the therapeutic algorithm.
- Endocrine treatment
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