Impact of premenopausal status at breast cancer diagnosis in women entered on the placebo-controlled NCIC CTG MA17 trial of extended adjuvant letrozole
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BACKGROUND: MA17 showed improved outcomes in postmenopausal women given extended letrozole (LET) after completing 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Exploratory subgroup analyses of disease-free survival (DFS), distant DFS (DDFS), overall survival (OS), toxic effects and quality of life (QOL) in MA17 were performed based on menopausal status at breast cancer diagnosis. RESULTS: At diagnosis, 877 women were premenopausal and 4289 were postmenopausal. Extended LET was significantly better than placebo (PLAC) in DFS for premenopausal [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.13-0.55; P = 0.0003] and postmenopausal women (HR = 0.67; 95% CI 0.51-0.89; P = 0.006), with greater DFS benefit in those premenopausal (interaction P = 0.03). In adjusted post-unblinding analysis, those who switched from PLAC to LET improved DDFS in premenopausal (HR = 0.15; 95% CI 0.03-0.79; P = 0.02) and postmenopausal women (HR = 0.45; 95% CI 0.22-0.94; P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Extended LET after 5 years of tamoxifen was effective in pre- and postmenopausal women at diagnosis, and significantly better in those premenopausal. Women premenopausal at diagnosis should be considered for extended adjuvant therapy with LET if menopausal after completing tamoxifen.
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