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Annotated Bibliography of NSABP Publications


Treatment of Lymph-Node-Negative, Oestrogen-Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer: Long-Term Findings from National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Randomised Clinical Trials.
Fisher B, Jeong JH, Bryant J, Anderson S, Dignam J, Fisher ER, Wolmark N; National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Randomised Clinical Trials.
Lancet. 2004 Sep 4;364(9437):858-68.

Abstract
Background: Findings from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project B-14 and B-20 trials showed that tamoxifen benefited women with oestrogen-receptor-positive tumours and negative axillary nodes, and that chemotherapy plus tamoxifen was more effective than tamoxifen alone. We present long-term findings from those trials and relate them to age, menopausal status, and tumour oestrogen-receptor concentrations. We also discuss the extent of progress made in the treatment of such patients.

Methods: B-14 patients were randomly assigned to placebo (n=1453) or tamoxifen (n=1439); B-20 patients to tamoxifen (n=788) or cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, fluorouracil, and tamoxifen (CMFT, n=789). Primary endpoints were recurrence-free survival and overall survival estimated according to patients' age, menopausal status, and tumour oestrogen-receptor concentration. Smoothed recurrence rates were used to measure patterns of recurrence as a continuous function of age.

Findings: Compared with placebo, tamoxifen benefited women in B-14 through 15 years, irrespective of age, menopausal status, or tumour oestrogen-receptor concentration (hazard ratio [HR] for recurrence-free survival 0.58, 95% CI 0.50-0.67, p<0.0001; HR for overall survival 0.80, 0.71-0.91, p=0.0008). In B-20, the benefit from CMFT over 12 years was greater than that from tamoxifen alone (HR for recurrence-free survival 0.52, 0.39-0.68, p<0.0001; HR for overall survival 0.78, 0.60-1.01, p=0.063). When CMFT was compared with placebo, there were reductions in treatment failure of about 65% in all age-groups.

Interpretation: Much benefit has been achieved in treatment of women with oestrogen-receptor-positive tumours and negative nodes. When planning systemic therapy for such patients of all ages, it should be understood that some have tumours with variable concentrations of oestrogen-receptors, a surrogate for other biomarkers associated with tumour growth and response to treatment. Older women tend to have higher tumour oestrogen-receptor concentrations and are more likely to benefit from tamoxifen than from chemotherapy; in younger women, the converse is true. Consequently, the notion that use of tamoxifen or chemotherapy should be based only on age is too restrictive.

Operations Center, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.