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Living longer and living better: breast cancer endocrine therapy
  1. Paulo Luz and
  2. Beatriz Gosalbez
  1. Department of Medical Oncology, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paulo Luz, Department of Medical Oncology, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve, Faro 8000, Portugal; p_luz{at}

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It was with great enthusiasm that we have seen the results published by Francis et al concerning the adjuvant hormone therapy. In the SOFT study (Suppression of Ovarian Function With Either Tamoxifen or Exemestane Compared With Tamoxifen Alone in Treating Premenopausal Women With Hormone-Responsive Breast Cancer), the 8-year disease-free survival rate was 78.9% in patients with only tamoxifen, 83.2% with tamoxifen and ovarian suppression and 85.9% with exemestane and ovarian suppression.1

The history of hormone therapy dates back more than a century (more precisely to 1896) when George Beatson, a British surgeon, describes surgical castration as a therapeutic option in some patients diagnosed with breast cancer.2 Until the late 1960s, this and the bilateral adrenalectomy were the only therapeutic options in hormone-sensitive disease. It was at this time that tamoxifen was discovered by Arthur …

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  • Contributors Beatriz Gosalbez revised the paper

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.