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Adjuvant tamoxifen in primary breast cancer: influence on plasma lipids and antithrombin III levels.

The possible estrogenic effects of tamoxifen on plasma lipids and antithrombin III levels were investigated in 91 breast cancer patients. Mean values of total, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, uric acid, and antithrombin III were evaluated in 55 patients on adjuvant tamoxifen for at least 3 months and compared with those found in 36 patients on no therapy. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and antithrombin III levels were significantly lower in treated patients (p less than 0.05). Our results support the hypothesis of a partial agonist action of this antiestrogen, although general clinical practice suggests that tamoxifen-related thrombotic events are rare.

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