Professor Trevor Powles on the use of tamoxifen for the prevention of breast cancer

Professor Trevor Powles, Medical Director at Cancer Centre London recently gave interviews to BBC Radio 4 and Channel 4 news regarding the use of tamoxifen for the prevention of breast cancer.

Professor Trevor Powles set up the first prevention trial in the world using tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in 1986 at the Royal Marsden. There were 2500 women in the trial. “The results showed that we could reduce breast cancer risk by about 50%, this benefit extending out to at least 20 years after only five years of treatment.”

Professor Trevor Powles was also the principle investigator for the national IBIS-1 trial which had 7000 women which showed a similar result. He was also one of the main authors on the meta analysis of all of the tamoxifen trials which confirmed these results.

Subsequently Professor Trevor Powles led on the breast cancer risk reduction for two trials of the next generation tamoxifen drugs, lasofoxifene and arzoxifene both of which showed breast cancer risk can be substantially reduced.

Tamoxifen is now being evaluated by NICE for risk reduction of breast cancer in healthy women who have increased risk of breast cancer because of a family history.

Date: 25/02/2013