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Sequential Therapy With Tamoxifen and Aromatase Inhibitors in Early-Stage Postmenopausal Breast Cancer: A Review of the Evidence

Georgia Litsas
ONF 2008, 35(4), 714-721 DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.714-721

Purpose/Objectives: To review the available evidence for the emerging role of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive early-stage breast cancer.

Data Sources: Studies published in journals indexed in PubMed® and abstracts and presentations from international conferences.

Data Synthesis: Switching to an AI improves survival and reduces cancer recurrence in postmenopausal women who have received two or three years of adjuvant tamoxifen treatment but presents challenges with regard to patient selection, cost, and management of treatment-related adverse events such as bone loss and arthralgia.

Conclusions: Third-generation AIs have the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes in postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer, although the optimal treatment regimen for individual patients has yet to be determined.

Implications for Nursing: Oncology nurses play a vital role in identifying patients suitable for AI therapy, educating patients about their treatment, and preventing and managing treatment-related adverse events.

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