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Experts Issue New Guidelines on Breast Cancer Drugs
Date:7/13/2010

standpoint," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge. "Are [aromatase inhibitors] better than tamoxifen? Yes, in two areas: preventing recurrent disease in other parts of the body and in preventing a second, separate breast cancer. But the [financial] costs are much more expensive."

According to the new guidelines, 20 milligrams of tamoxifen costs $21.90 a month, while Arimidex can cost $379.80.

On the other hand, Burstein pointed out, the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole recently became available as a generic, which should lower the cost significantly.

More information

Read the full guideline at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

SOURCES: Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD, co-chair, ASCO's Endocrine Therapy for Breast Cancer Update Committee and associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Crystal Denlinger, M.D., assistant professor of medical oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman of hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge; July 12, 2010, online, Journal of Clinical Oncology


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