Minimal impact of adjuvant exemestane or tamoxifen treatment on mammographic breast density in postmenopausal breast cancer patients: A Dutch TEAM trial analysis
Background. Mammographic breast density is one of the strongest independent risk factors for developing breast cancer. We examined the effect of exemestane and tamoxifen on breast density in Dutch postmenopausal early breast cancer patients participating in the Tamoxifen Exemestane Adjuvant Multinational (TEAM) trial.
Material and methods. Analogue mammograms of selected TEAM participants before start, and after one and two (and if available after three) years of adjuvant endocrine therapy were collected centrally and reviewed. Study endpoints were change in breast density over time, and correlations between breast density and locoregional recurrence (LRR), distance recurrence (DR), and contralateral breast cancer (CBC).
Results. Mammograms of 378 patients (181 tamoxifen, 197 exemestane) were included in the current per protocol analyses. Baseline breast density was low (breast density score < 50% in 75% of patients) and not different between patients randomised to exemestane or tamoxifen (coefficient 0.16, standard error 0.17). Breast density did not change during treatment in exemestane (p = 0.25) or tamoxifen users (p = 0.59). No relation was observed between breast density and the occurrence of a LRR [hazards ratio (HR) 0.87, 95% CI 0.45–1.68, p = 0.67], a DR (HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.77–1.35, p = 0.90), or CBC (HR 1.31, 95% CI 0.63–2.72, p = 0.48).
Conclusion. The in general low breast density score in early postmenopausal breast cancer patients did not substantially change over time, and this pattern was not different between tamoxifen and exemestane users. Breast density was not a predictive marker for efficacy of adjuvant endocrine therapy.