Aromatase inhibitors improved disease-free survival compared with tamoxifen when given as an initial adjuvant treatment or after 2-3 years of tamoxifen to postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. We therefore compared the long-term effects of exemestane monotherapy with sequential treatment (tamoxifen followed by exemestane). The Tamoxifen Exemestane Adjuvant Multinational (TEAM) phase 3 trial was conducted in hospitals in nine countries. Postmenopausal women (median age 64 years, range 35-96) with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to open-label exemestane (25 mg once a day, orally) alone or following tamoxifen (20 mg once a day, orally) for 5 years. Randomisation was by use of a computer-generated random permuted block method. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS) at 5 years. Main analyses were by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00279448, NCT00032136, and NCT00036270; NTR 267; Ethics Commission Trial 27/2001; and UMIN, C000000057. 9779 patients were assigned to sequential treatment (n=4875) or exemestane alone (n=4904), and 4868 and 4898 were analysed by intention to treat, respectively. 4154 (85) patients in the sequential group and 4186 (86) in the exemestane alone group were disease free at 5 years (hazard ratio 0·97, 95 CI 0·88-1·08; p=0·60). In the safety analysis, sequential treatment was associated with a higher incidence of gynaecological symptoms (942 [20] of 4814 vs 523 [11] of 4852), venous thrombosis (99 [2] vs 47 [1]), and endometrial abnormalities (191 [4] vs 19 [<1]) than was exemestane alone. Musculoskeletal adverse events (2448 [50] vs 2133 [44]), hypertension (303 [6] vs 219 [5]), and hyperlipidaemia (230 [5] vs 136 [3]) were reported more frequently with exemestane alone. Treatment regimens of exemestane alone or after tamoxifen might be judged to be appropriate options for postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive early breast cancer. Pfizer.

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doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62312-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/23593
The Lancet
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van de Velde, C.J.H, Rea, D, Seynaeve, C.M, Putter, H, Hasenburg, A, Vannetzel, J.M, … Jones, S.E. (2011). Adjuvant tamoxifen and exemestane in early breast cancer (TEAM): A randomised phase 3 trial. The Lancet, 377(9762), 321–331. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62312-4