STAR Trial Completes First Year,
In its first year, the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene saw 6,139 postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer enroll in this landmark prevention study, including 75 women in Connecticut and 15 women who have joined the study through the UConn Health Center.
STAR is a five-year trial organized by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and supported by the National Cancer Institute. This far-reaching study has been organized to compare the efficacy of two drugs, tamoxifen and raloxifene, in preventing breast cancer among women at increased risk for the disease.
More than 500 centers across the U.S. and Canada have been enrolling women in the STAR trial since July 1, 1999. Participation rates at the Health Center were among the highest in the state, said coordinator Susan Walters, who noted that the Health Center hopes to enroll many more women over the course of the next four years.
"We are pleased with the level of participation here at the Health Center. It is very exciting to be able to offer this study to women at increased risk of breast cancer in the hopes of actually preventing the disease," she said.
In 1998, tamoxifen was shown to reduce the chance of developing breast cancer by about half through the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial, a study of more than 13,000 pre-menopausal and postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of tamoxifen to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women at risk of the disease in October 1998.
In another large study, Raloxifene, an osteoporosis medication, was shown to reduce the incidence of breast cancer.
Women who participate in STAR must be postmenopausal, at least 35 years of age, and have an increased risk of breast cancer as determined by their age, family history of breast cancer, personal medical history, age at first menstrual period, and age at first live birth. Women who are currently taking estrogen must be willing to go off it for the duration of the study.
Postmenopausal women who would like to learn more about their breast cancer risk, and the STAR trial, can call Susan Walters, (860) 679-3509.