Effect of tamoxifen on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in postmenopausal women with breast cancer

Muthusamy Thangaraju, Kalyanam Kumar, Rengasamy Gandhirajan, Panchanatham Sachdanandam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Background. Adjuvant tamoxifen therapy is given to large and increasing numbers of women with early‐stage breast cancer. The effects of this drug on plasma lipids and lipoprotein profiles are important, because cardiovascular disease also develops over time in a large percentage of tamoxifen‐treated postmenopausal women. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of tamoxifen on plasma lipid and lipoprotein profiles in postmenopausal Indian women who were disease‐free after primary treatment for breast cancer. Methods. A short‐term evaluation of 6 months of tamoxifen therapy (10 mg twice a day) in 45 postmenopausal women was conducted. The plasma lipids and lipoprotein levels were evaluated before and after 3 and 6 months of tamoxifen treatment. Results. At 3 and 6 months' evaluation, patients receiving tamoxifen showed significantly decreased levels of total cholesterol, free cholesterol, and low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.001 for each) and increased levels of plasma triglycerides, free fatty acids, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol. Conclusion. The results suggest that tamoxifen therapy benefits postmenopausal patients with breast cancer, with likely reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-663
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • breast cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • lipids
  • lipoproteins
  • postmenopausal women
  • tamoxifen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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