© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
May 14, 2005Results of a new study show that raloxifene (Evista) is associated with lowering the risk of developing uterine (endometrial) cancer by 50%. Raloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) used to treat osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and may lower the risk of breast cancer.It is in the same class of drugs as tamoxifen (Nolvadex), a hormone treatment that is used to reduce the risk of breast cancer for some women. However, studies have shown that tamoxifen increases the risk of uterine cancer.In this study, doctors compared the use of raloxifene and tamoxifen in 547 women with uterine cancer and 1,412 women without this cancer. The women with cancer were part of the Women's Insights and Shared Experiences (WISE) study project at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The women without cancer were contacted by random telephone dialing in the Philadelphia area.The results show that women taking tamoxifen had a 50% increased risk of developing uterine cancer, but the women taking raloxifene lowered their risk of uterine cancer by 50%. These women took raloxifene for less than three years."Uterine cancer is becoming more common, so it's important to start thinking about ways to reduce the risk," said Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Abramson Cancer Center and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania. "If raloxifene helps prevent both breast cancer and uterine cancer, that information could help a woman decide which drug to choose."What this means for patientsThis study shows that raloxifene, unlike tamoxifen, may protect against uterine cancer. However, it is not yet known how raloxifene compares with tamoxifen for lowering the risk of breast cancer. This comparison is being studied in the STAR (Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene) trial, and the results from this trial are not expected until 2006. In the meantime, women at high risk of developing breast cancer should talk to their doctors about ways to lower this risk. Finally, only black and white women were included in this study, so the findings could be different for women of other ethnic backgrounds.