Frankie Ann Holmes, MD, a physician at Texas Oncology, discusses the MA.17R trial, which evaluated how long treatment with aromatase inhibitors should be given to patients with early-stage breast cancer.
In the trial, patients were randomized to receive continued use of letrozole or placebo after receiving 5 years of letrozole.
At a median follow-up of 10 years, an overview of the study showed that there was a continued recurrence out to 20 years. This is still relatively early in the natural history of the disease, and more relapses could still occur, says Holmes.
A risk analysis needs to be conducted to determine which patients are at the greatest risk of late recurrence. The Breast Cancer Index (BCI) is one tool that is used in practice to predict risk. This and other tools will help oncologists individualize and personal treatment for each patient.