Publication Abstract

Authors: Chlebowski RT, Kim J, Haque R

Title: Adherence to endocrine therapy in breast cancer adjuvant and prevention settings.

Journal: Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 7(4):378-87

Date: 2014 Apr

Abstract: Adherence to oral endocrine therapy in adjuvant breast cancer settings is a substantial clinical problem. To provide current perspective on adherence to oral endocrine therapies, a comprehensive literature review was conducted. In adjuvant trials, endocrine therapy adherence is relatively high with greater adherence for aromatase inhibitors compared with tamoxifen. In contrast, adherence to adjuvant therapy in clinical practice is relatively poor, with only about 50% of women successfully completing 5-year therapy. Importantly, good adherence (>80% use) has been associated with lower recurrence risk. Endocrine therapy adherence in primary breast cancer prevention trials parallels that seen in adjuvant trials. Factors associated with nonadherence include low recurrence risk perception, side effects, age extremes, medication cost, suboptimal patient-physician communication, and lack of social support. Few prospective studies have evaluated interventions designed to improve adherence. Interventions currently proposed reflect inferences from clinical trial procedures in which clinical contacts are commonly greater than in usual practice settings. In conclusion, for optimal breast cancer outcome, adherence to endocrine therapy must improve. Although general recommendations likely to improve adherence can be made based on clinical trial results and preliminary prospective trial findings, research specifically targeting this issue is needed to establish effective intervention strategies.