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Tamoxifen and other estrogen-receptor-blocking medications may offer the best treatment outcomes for women who have received positive breast cancer tests indicating the presence of certain kinds of tumors, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Seattle Cancer Care Center reported in the journal Clinical Cancer Research that they used PET scans to assess actual tumor changes in women who were being treated with various medications for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer.
Their results showed that estrogen-receptor-blocking medications like Tamoxifen are more effective than estrogen-lowering drugs at preventing a recurrence of cancer.
The findings were somewhat expected, the researchers said. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that preventing the activation of estrogen receptors in the breast is more effective than simply lowering overall estrogen levels. However, this is the first study to directly show the positive effect on tumor growth.
"What we're suggesting in the paper - that we couldn't fully test for before - is if estrogen is incompletely blocked you're not getting a good outcome for the patient," said Hannah Linden, who led the study.
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