American Society of Clinical Oncology technology assessment of pharmacologic interventions for breast cancer risk reduction including tamoxifen, raloxifene, and aromatase inhibition.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)


To update an evidence-based technology assessment of chemoprevention strategies for breast cancer risk reduction. POTENTIAL INTERVENTIONS: Tamoxifen, raloxifene, aromatase inhibition, and fenretinide.


Outcomes of interest include breast cancer incidence, breast cancer-specific survival, overall survival, and net health benefit.


A comprehensive, formal literature review was conducted for relevant topics. Testimony was collected from invited experts and interested parties. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) prescribed technology assessment procedure was followed.


More weight was given to published randomized trials. BENEFITS/HARMS: A woman's decision regarding breast cancer risk reduction strategies is complex and will depend on the importance and weight attributed to information regarding both cancer- and noncancer-related risks and benefits.


For women with a defined 5-year projected breast cancer risk of > or= 1.66%, tamoxifen (at 20 mg/d for 5 years) may be offered to reduce their risk. Risk/benefit models suggest that greatest clinical benefit with least side effects is derived from use of tamoxifen in younger (premenopausal) women (who are less likely to have thromboembolic sequelae and uterine cancer), women without a uterus, and women at higher breast cancer risk. Data do not as yet suggest that tamoxifen provides an overall health benefit or increases survival. In all circumstances, tamoxifen use should be discussed as part of an informed decision-making process with careful consideration of individually calculated risks and benefits. Use of tamoxifen combined with hormone replacement therapy or use of raloxifene, any aromatase inhibitor or inactivator, or fenretinide to lower the risk of developing breast cancer is not recommended outside of a clinical trial setting. This technology assessment represents an ongoing process and recommendations will be updated in a timely matter.


The conclusions were endorsed by the ASCO Health Services Research Committee and the ASCO Board of Directors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chlebowski, RT; Col, N; Winer, EP; Collyar, DE; Cummings, SR; Vogel, VG; Burstein, HJ; Eisen, A; Lipkus, I; Pfister, DG; American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Technology Assessment Working Group,

Published Date

  • August 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 15

Start / End Page

  • 3328 - 3343

PubMed ID

  • 12149307

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-7755

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0732-183X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1200/jco.2002.06.029


  • eng