The effects of adjuvant hormonotherapy on tear functions in patients with breast cancer

Bicer T., Imamoglu G. I. , Dogan A. S. , Avarisli N. A. , Kabatas N., KÜÇÜK BİÇER B. , ...More

INTERNATIONAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.40, no.8, pp.2077-2083, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10792-020-01384-7
  • Page Numbers: pp.2077-2083


Purpose Aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, letrozole) and selective estrogen receptor modulators (tamoxifen) are widely used as adjuvant hormonal therapy in women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. We aimed to evaluate the effects of oral adjuvant hormonotherapy on tear functions in patients with breast cancer. Methods In this case-control study, we enrolled eligible patients with breast cancer who were receiving regular medical selective estrogen receptor modulator (tamoxifen, n:50), aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, letrozole, n:50) and gender-matched healthy controls (n:50). Tear functions were measured and compared by the Schirmer test, fluorescein breakup time, corneal staining evaluated by Oxford grading scale and Ocular Surface Disease Index scores. Results Mean age was 49.95 (+/- 9.2), 51.52 (+/- 7.2) and 51.91 (+/- 10.3) in tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors groups and controls (p = 0.426). Mean duration of BC diagnosis (p = 0.536) and drug use (p = 0.417) was not significant between two groups. Ocular Surface Disease Index scores were lower (p < 0.001), and fluorescein breakup time measurements were higher (p < 0.001) in controls. Schirmer test scores were higher in controls than aromatase inhibitors group (p < 0.001). According to the scores of all measurements, the differences between aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen groups were statistically significant (p < 0.001). Conclusions Our results demonstrated a high difference in all parameters in patients receiving aromatase inhibitors compared to tamoxifen group and controls. Aromatase inhibitors, which reduce estrogen levels in the blood, might affect the tear functions more than tamoxifen, which affects as antiestrogenic on estrogen receptors.