Breast Cancer Prevention Study Marks One-Year Anniversary With 6,139 Participants

07/28/00    Portland, Ore.

A landmark national clinical trial to study and compare two drugs that may help prevent certain high-risk women from getting breast cancer has recruited 6,139 women after one year.

The five-year Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) is the largest study ever of treatments that could prevent breast cancer from occurring in high-risk women. A woman at high risk is regarded as someone who is post-menopausal, at least 35 years old and has a family history of breast cancer. Individuals who register to participate in STAR are given a comprehensive risk assessment to determine their eligibility.

Principal investigators at the Columbia River Oncology Program at Providence, Kaiser Permanente and Oregon Health Sciences University are enrolling patients and conducting the clinical study locally. While the national goal for STAR is to enroll 22,000 women, up to 1,000 women are being sought in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area and at selected sites around Oregon. Women who enroll in the study will be randomly assigned to take either tamoxifen or raloxifene daily for five years.

Previous studies have found that daily tamoxifen use resulted in a 49 percent decrease in the incidence of breast cancer in at-risk women, compared to at-risk women who did not receive the drug. Raloxifene, a drug used to treat osteoporosis, was also found to reduce the risk of breast cancer in studies of women who were taking the drug for osteoporosis. STAR seeks to compare tamoxifen and raloxifene to determine which of the two drugs is more effective in preventing breast cancer.

The STAR trial is sponsored by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project and the National Cancer Institute.

The study investigators are particularly interested in enrolling women of color because relatively few minority women participated in earlier breast cancer prevention trials.

Women who may be eligible for the STAR trial include postmenopausal women who:

  1. are postmenopausal;
  2. are 35 or older; and
  3. at an increased risk for developing breast cancer.

The Columbia River Oncology Program (CROP) is a consortium of physicians, nurses and staff from eight hospitals in the Portland metropolitan area: Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Providence Milwaukie Hospital, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital, Legacy Meridian Park Hospital, Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center, and Southwest Washington Medical Center. CROP is funded through a grant from the National Cancer Institute's Community Clinical Oncology Program and is administered by Providence Portland Medical Center.

Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research, founded in 1964, is a not-for-profit research institute that conducts health research in the public interest. Kaiser Permanente is a non-profit, group-practice prepayment program serving the health needs of more than 445,000 people in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

The Oregon Cancer Center at OHSU is a National Cancer Institute- designated research center. OHSU is also seeing patients for this study on location in Salem and Medford.

Local Participation
Women who think they may be eligible for the STAR trial should call one of the participating centers:

  • OHSU - 503 494-6524.
  • CROP - 503 216-6583 or 1-800-677-6752, ext. 66583;
  • Kaiser Permanente - 503 331-6513 or