Tamoxifen


The Use of Anti-Estrogen (Tamoxifen) in Women, Men, and Children

Tamoxifen is a common anti-estrogen inhibitor preventing the receptor cells of tissues from being bonded and activated by estrogen hormones. Tamoxifen was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 15 years ago, and used for more than 15 years prior.

Tamoxifen is mostly used in treatments of hormone therapy for breast cancer in men and women. As a follow-up drug normally administered to cancer patients after surgery and radiation treatments, it can also be used as a treatment for preventing breast cancer, but is also a risk factor for uterine cancer in women.

Tamoxifen in Women

Clinical research studies indicate that tamoxifen can slightly increase the risks of the fibrous tumors, which in some precancerous conditions causes uterine cancer. It is also well known that other chemotherapy drugs for breast cancer cause other cancers. The risk factors for uterine cancer are early pre-puberty or late menopause, obesity, abnormal vaginal bleeding, nulligravid (never given birth), and ovulation or infertility issues.

Tamoxifen is also used to stimulate ovulation cycles for women experiencing infertility or anovulatory conditions. Although it is dangerous to use during pregnancy, it is still not known if the drug can be drawn down through the breast milk. Therefore, women who have given birth and are nursing should not take tamoxifen.

Tamoxifen in Men

Tamoxifen is used in breast cancer treatments for men and also a preventive treatment for gynecomastia (enlargement of the breasts in men and in young males). The treatment of tamoxifen is used as an anti-aromatizing drug for steroid related side effects in male athletes. This is for the quick recovery of testosterone production levels. Gynecomastia has also been used as a treatment and preventive measure for pedophiles and sex offenders in a chemical castration program.

Tamoxifen in Children

Clinical studies of the use of tamoxifen in children, who have undergone cancer treatments, and who have subsequently been diagnosed with new brain and central nervous system tumors, are still being currently conducted. The studies include children from the ages of 5 years to 14 years, who were diagnosed with low-grade gliomas (brain tumors). Malignant gliomas are known to be caused from excessive amounts of active Protein Kinase C (PKC).

Tamoxifen has been shown in vitro to be a potent PKC inhibitor. In these studies, tamoxifen is used in the same way carboplatin is for glioma treatments. Although limited data has been gathered, ongoing clinical research for the treatment of malignant glioma in children with the drug tamoxifen continues.