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Methodist Health System Shares Update on STAR Breast Cancer Prevention Study

DALLAS — For several years, Methodist Health System has participated in STAR, the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene to determine which drug has more potential to reduce breast cancer. The long-term trial is coordinated by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), a network of cancer research professionals, and is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. An update of the results of the study shows that the drug Raloxifene (initially used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women) improved its effectiveness against noninvasive breast cancer, caused significantly less endometrial cancer and was significantly less toxic than Tamoxifen. After 81 months of follow-up, although Raloxifene was slightly less effective against invasive breast cancer, it still maintained strong effectiveness. STAR, one of the largest breast cancer prevention clinical trials ever conducted, enrolled 19,490 postmenopausal women who were at increased risk for the disease in the follow-up study. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 60 mg of Raloxifene (Evista®) (9,754 participants)or 20 mg of Tamoxifen (Nolvadex®) (9,736 participants) daily. Methodist enrolled 91 women in this study, of which approximately 66 remain in long term follow-up.

Improved detection and treatment of breast cancer has not eliminated the need for better prevention of this disease, which accounted for approximately 192,000 new cancer cases and 40,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2009. For more on Methodist Health System's breast cancer screening services, visit www.methodisthealthsystem.org/mammogram.

About Methodist Health System
Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) uses some of the latest medical technology and research to bring quality health care to individuals and families throughout North Texas.  Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, Methodist Midlothian Health Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at www.methodisthealthsystem.org. Connect with Methodist through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at www.methodisthealthsystem.org/socialmedia.


Lynette Wilkinson
Public Relations Specialist


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