Dr. Davidson Discusses Breast Cancer Chemoprevention

Dr. Nancy Davidson, from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Discusses Breast Cancer Chemoprevention

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers, discusses breast cancer chemoprevention, which uses pharmaceuticals to prevent or delay the development of cancer.

Davidson explains that a great deal of research has been done into chemoprevention in breast cancer, mostly with the selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), tamoxifen and raloxifene. There have been numerous randomized trials that demonstrated positive results. However, these trials did not produce the widespread adaptation of SERMs for chemoprevention.

The agents tamoxifen and raloxifene are both approved for breast cancer risk reduction in high-risk patients. There is information available that suggest aromatase inhibitors can also prevent breast cancer, but they are not an FDA approved intervention.

According to Davidson, the puzzle of chemoprevention is that trials with tens of thousands of women over decades have not been applied, despite positive results with several agents.