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Patients' preference for administration of endocrine treatments by injection or tablets: results from a study of women with breast cancer

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 13:38 authored by Lesley FallowfieldLesley Fallowfield, L. A. Atkins, Susan Catt, A. Cox, C. Coxon, C. I. Langridge, R. Morris, M. Price
BACKGROUND: Endocrine therapies for advanced breast cancer include tablets and intramuscular injections. When treatments have similar efficacy and tolerability profiles, addressing preferences about routes of administration is important. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred and eight women>2 years post-breast cancer diagnosis were interviewed about their preferences for daily tablets or monthly intramuscular injections. Health-care professionals treating the women estimated patients' preferences. RESULTS: Sixty-three per cent of patients preferred tablets, 24.5% preferred the injection and 12.5% had no preference. The most cited reasons for tablet preference were convenience and dislike of needles; for injection preference, adherence and convenience. Variables associated with preferences were body mass index, educational level, attitudes towards injections and efficacy perceptions. Estimates about patients' preferences by health-care professionals varied widely. When asked to imagine scenarios where injections produced fewer hot flushes, or where two injections monthly improved efficacy, injection preference increased to 60.6% and 74.5%, respectively. Disturbingly, approximately 50% of patients admitted they sometimes forgot or chose not to take their current oral medication. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of breast cancer patients preferred hormone therapy via daily tablets rather than monthly injections. Information about side-effects or improved efficacy altered these preferences. Adherence to treatment cannot be assumed; patients' preferences about drug administration may influence this.


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  • Published


Annals of Oncology




Oxford University Press





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Department affiliated with

  • Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C) Publications

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  • Yes

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