To compare changes in mammographic density and the expression of markers of proliferation (Ki67) and apoptosis (Bcl-2) after 1 year of treatment with tibolone and continuous conjugated equine estrogens combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (CEE-MPA).
Comparative, randomized, evaluator-blinded study.
City research hospital.
Thirty-seven postmenopausal women.
Tibolone (2.5 mg; n = 18) or continuous conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (5 mg; n = 19) for 1 year.
Mammographic density (BI-RADS density score), expression of immunohistochemical markers Ki67 and Bcl-2.
Mean breast density score decreased significantly from 2.22 to 1.67 in the tibolone group, compared with a significant increase in the CEE-MPA-treated group from 1.84 to 2.63. Ki67 expression decreased in 12 of 15, increased in 2 of 15, and remained unchanged in 1 of 15 subjects in the tibolone group, compared with 1 of 19, 15 of 19, and 3 of 19 subjects, respectively, in the CEE-MPA group. Bcl-2 expression decreased in 12 of 15, increased in 2 of 15, and remained unchanged in 1 of 15 subjects in the tibolone group, compared with 5 of 19, 9 of 19, and 5 of 19 subjects, respectively, in the CEE-MPA group.
One-year treatment with tibolone induced a decrease in breast density, with a reduction in proliferation and a stimulation of apoptosis, whereas 1-year treatment with CEE-MPA induced an increase in breast density, with stimulation of proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis, indicating that tibolone effects on the breast are different from those of CEE-MPA.