Use of tamoxifen in pT1a-pT1b, pN0 breast cancer

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2007 Apr;33(3):271-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2006.05.021. Epub 2006 Jul 10.


Purpose: To evaluate if in low-risk breast cancer patients (pT1a-pT1b, pN0) tamoxifen can reduce local recurrence and improve survival.

Methods: Retrospectively 700 patients were analyzed. All patients were treated from 1980 to 2003 with conservative surgery plus radiotherapy at the University of Florence. No patients were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Tamoxifen was prescribed in 359 patients (51.3%). The crude probability of survival (or local recurrence) was estimated by using Kaplan-Meier method, and survival (or local recurrence) comparisons were carried out using Cox proportional hazard regression models.

Results: The univariate analysis for specific survival showed that only histological type and local recurrence were significant prognostic factors (log rank test: p=0.02 and p<0.0001, respectively). The Cox regression model by stepwise selection confirmed lobular histological type (p=0.008; HR: 3.83, 95% CI: 1.31-11.21) and local recurrence (p<0.001; HR: 9.05, 95% CI: 3.05-26.82) as independent prognostic factors for disease specific survival. For local disease free survival, multivariate analysis did not show any significant parameters.

Conclusion: In our series tamoxifen did not seem to improve disease specific survival and local disease specific survival. The number of events in terms of death for cancer or in terms of local recurrence is too small in this group of patients. However, according to our results we suggest not to prescribe tamoxifen in patients affected by pT1a-pT1b, pN0 breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Tamoxifen