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Clinical Research

The antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor) is often prescribed to patients with breast cancer who are taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex) to help reduce the side effect of hot flashes. But according to research presented at the meeting, venlafaxine may reduce the effectiveness of tamoxifen.

More evidence is accumulating that vitamin D levels play a role in breast cancer outcomes. Investigators from the United Kingdom reported that postmenopausal women with sufficient vitamin D levels were significantly less likely to develop bone metastases when taking zoledronic acid (Zometa) compared with women with lower vitamin D levels.

Observational studies have sug­gested that the antidiabetes agent metformin (Glucophage) may have anticancer effects. New studies have attempted to confirm this, but the results and their meaning still remain unclear.

Reviewing several studies presented at the meeting, Michael N. Pollak, MD, the Alexander Goldfarb Research Chair in Cancer Research and the Di­rec­tor, Division of Cancer Prevention, De­partment of Oncology, McGill Uni­versity, Montreal, Canada, said that there are many unanswered questions, but that “some of those questions have become clearer.”

A new meta-analysis confirmed that patients with breast cancer who achieve a pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant therapy have a more favorable outcome than those who do not.

Patients who achieved a pCR had a 52% reduction in the probability of an event and a 64% reduction in the probability of death (P <.001 for both), as was shown in the meta-analysis of the Collaborative Trials in Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer (CTNeoBC).


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  • Rheumatology Practice Management
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  • American Health & Drug Benefits
  • Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Care in Myeloma
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