For treatment of early breast cancer in older women, little evidence is available from randomised trials. We conducted a randomised trial comparing modified radical mastectomy (MRM) with tamoxifen (TAM) as the sole initial therapy in 164 patients aged ≥70 years with operable breast cancer. 82 were treated by MRM and 82 with TAM. Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method: multivariate analyses were performed using the Cox's proportional hazards model. Endpoints included survival, time to first relapse or progression, loco-regional progression, time to distant progression and progression-free survival. After a median follow-up of approximately 10 years, there was a significantly decreased time to progression in the TAM only group (logrank P<0.0001) and significantly shorter time to local progression within the TAM group (logrank P<0.0001). Overall survival of the two groups was similar. The results indicate that tamoxifen alone leads to an unacceptably high rate of local progression or relapse.

Breast cancer, Elderly, Mastectomy, Randomised trial, Tamoxifen,
European Journal of Cancer
Department of Surgery

Fentiman, I.S, Christiaens, M.R, Paridaens, R, van Geel, A.N, Rutgers, E.J.T, Berner, J, … Therasse, P. (2003). Treatment of operable breast cancer in the elderly: A randomised clinical trial EORTC 10851 comparing tamoxifen alone with modified radical mastectomy. European Journal of Cancer, 39(3), 309–316. doi:10.1016/S0959-8049(02)00673-1