Therapy with raloxifene (Evista®), a drug used to both prevent and treat osteoporosis, reduced the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.10
The scientists analyzed data from a four-year trial involving 7,705 women and another four-year follow-up study involving 4,011 women. To assess breast cancer risk, pre-specified subgroups were defined by age, age at menopause, body mass index, family history of breast cancer, serum estradiol level, prior estrogen therapy, and bone mass at baseline in both the original trial and follow-up study. In the placebo group, older age, higher estradiol level, and a family history of breast cancer were associated with an increased breast cancer risk. Raloxifene therapy, however, led to reduced breast cancer incidence in women at both lower and higher breast cancer risk as determined by the pre-specified risk factors. Compared to placebo, raloxifene treatment was associated with reductions in risk ranging from 33% to 89%.
The researchers concluded that raloxifene therapy was associated with a reduced risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women, irrespective of the presence or absence of other risk factors. The drug’s effect was especially pronounced in women with a family history of breast cancer.