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28.07.2017 | Review Article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Breast Cancer 1/2018

Adjuvant endocrine monotherapy for postmenopausal early breast cancer patients with hormone-receptor positive: a systemic review and network meta-analysis

Breast Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Zhu Yu, Xiaojing Guo, Yicheng Jiang, Lei Teng, Jinwu Luo, Pengfei Wang, Yunsheng Liang, Haitian Zhang



In patients with hormone receptor-positive postmenopausal of early stage breast cancer, adjuvant endocrine monotherapies include letrozole, anastrozole, exemestane, toremifene and tamoxifen. But the optimum regimen remains controversial.


PubMed, Cochrane Database and were systematically reviewed of abstract for randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the efficacy of tamoxifen, letrozole, exemestane, anastrozle and toremifene for postmenopausal patients with hormone-receptor positive (HR+), who have not received prior therapy for early stage breast cancer. The outcomes were measured by disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). We evaluated relative hazard ratios (HRs) for death of different therapies by combination hazard ratios for death of included trials. The SUCRA values were used to evaluate the rankings of efficacy for these monotherapies.


A total of fourteen studies including 19,517 patients in our research were absorbed and estimated. The superiority of efficacy for DFS were 5-year letrozole and 10-year tamoxifen (SUCRA values 0.743/0.657) in all comparisons. A more efficient SUCRA values for OS were 5-year Exemestane, 5-year letrozole and 10-year tamoxifen (0.756/0.677/0.669).


Clinically important differences exist between commonly prescribed different adjuvant endocrine monotherapy regimens for both efficacy and acceptability in favor of exemestane and letrozole. 10-year tamoxifen for early breast cancer patients is noninferior to 5-year anastrozle, and might be the best choice where aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are not easy to acquire.

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