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University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City IA 52242

Release: Immediate

UIHC is chosen to participate in breast cancer prevention trial

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) is among 193 facilities selected to participate in a second major breast cancer prevention trial.

The Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) will begin in early 1999. The STAR study closely follows the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project's first breast cancer prevention trial in which researchers found a 49 percent decrease in the incidence of invasive breast cancer in women at increased risk for the disease who took tamoxifen therapy when compared with women who did not receive the drug.

The new study will examine whether raloxifene, a drug similar to tamoxifen, is also effective in preventing invasive breast cancer among women who have not had the disease and whether it offers any more benefits than tamoxifen.

Breast cancer specialist Dr. Peter Jochimsen will lead the study at the UIHC, assisted by oncology certified nurse Mary Spaight as the project coordinator. Women seeking additional details on the study may call Spaight at (319) 356-2778 or the Cancer Information Service at (800) 237-1225.

Several satellite sites will be a part of the study at the University of Iowa. Those sites are at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport; McFarland Clinic, Ames; Dubuque Internal Medicine, Dubuque; Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, Waterloo; Medical Associates, Clinton; and Hinsdale Hematology/Oncology, Hinsdale, Illinois.

Women who enroll in the study will be assigned to either a regimen of 20 milligrams of tamoxifen or 60 milligrams of raloxifene daily for five years.

STAR is a randomized, double-blind study which means those women receiving raloxifene and those receiving tamoxifen will be selected at random. Neither the woman nor the study administrators will know who is receiving which drug.

The study is designed to include 22,000 women who are older than 35 years, have experienced menopause and who have characteristics that place them at greater risk for developing breast cancer. Women in the study will receive close follow-up examinations, including a mammogram, physical exam, and gynecologic exam on a regular basis for at least seven years.