Breast cancer drug may ease prostate cancer side effects: Study
A widely used breast cancer drug may ease the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, according to a new German study. (FOTOLIA)
A widely used breast cancer drug may ease the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, according to a new German study.
Scientists examined four studies involving men in Europe and North America undergoing drug therapy for prostate cancer, the common side effects of which are gynecomastia (breast enlargement) or breast pain.
Those side effects are the most common reasons men stop treatment, said the researchers, who come from medical centres in Nuremberg and Freiburg.
The study found that men were less likely to suffer from so-called breast events when their therapy was supplemented with tamoxifen.
At six months after treatment, men were 10% less likely to have gynecomastia and six percent less likely to have breast pain compared to those who had not received tamoxifen.
At 12 months after treatment, men were 22% less likely to have breast enlargement and 25% less likely to have breast pain compared to those taking a different preventative drug, anastrozole.
However, while tamoxifen showed "good efficacy" for the prevention and treatment of breast events, more research is needed.
"The impact of tamoxifen therapy on long-term adverse events, disease progression and survival remains unclear," the researchers wrote. "Also, the optimal dose needs to be clarified."
The study is published Tuesday in the journal BMC Medicine.