Research Article

Comparative trial of endocrine versus cytotoxic treatment in advanced breast cancer.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 14 May 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1248
  1. T Priestman,
  2. M Baum,
  3. V Jones,
  4. J Forbes


    Ninety-two women with advanced breast cancer were allocated at random to receive either cytotoxic or endocrine treatment. Out of 45 women included in the cytotoxic treatment group, 22 (49%) achieved complete or partial remission of their disease, whereas of the 47 included in the endocrine treatment group, only 10 (21%) achieved such remission. Significantly longer survival times in the cytotoxic treatment group were most apparent among premenopausal women, 75% of such patients responding to cytotoxic drugs (median survival 46 weeks) compared with only 11% benefiting from ovarian ablation (median survival 12 weeks). In postmenopausal women with predominantly soft-tissue disease, however, additive hormonal treatment with tamoxifen produced remission rates and survival times equivalent to those produced by cytotoxic drugs.