Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aromatase inhibitors increase risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women with breast cancer, analysis finds

Date:
December 9, 2010
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Postmenopausal women who take aromatase inhibitors as a treatment for breast cancer may be at an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a meta-analysis.

Postmenopausal women who take aromatase inhibitors as a treatment for breast cancer may be at an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a meta-analysis.

Related Articles


These data, presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, indicate that women presenting with breast cancer treatment who have risk factors for cardiovascular disease should be considered for a shorter duration of use of aromatase inhibitors.

"It appears that aromatase inhibitors have a significant increase in cardiotoxic side effects, such as heart attack, angina and heart failure," said Eitan Amir, M.D., a senior fellow in the division of medical oncology and hematology at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

Because some cancers, especially breast cancers, require estrogen to grow and spread, drugs that block estrogen production are often used to treat the disease. Tamoxifen blocks the effect of estrogen in breast tissue, whereas aromatase inhibitors prevent the production of estrogen.

Each class of drugs also have related adverse effects. For example, although tamoxifen blocks estrogen production in breast tissue, it has the opposite effect in uterine tissue. Previous research has shown that extended use of tamoxifen results in a small increase in the risk for endometrial cancer and venous thrombosis.

On the other hand, in December 2008, the Food and Drug Administration added a warning label to anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, which indicated potential increased risk for heart disease. For this reason, Amir and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to determine if this increased risk for heart disease occurred with the use of any aromatase inhibitor.

The researchers examined data from seven large randomized clinical trials that compared tamoxifen with aromatase inhibitors in postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer.

Data from the analysis confirmed that any duration of use of an aromatase inhibitor was associated with a 20 percent higher probability of developing cardiovascular disease. However, use of aromatase inhibitors also resulted in a reduced risk for venous thrombosis and endometrial carcinoma.

As a secondary analysis, they determined if switching from treatment with tamoxifen to aromatase inhibitors had any effect on mortality or adverse effects. Results showed that the risk for serious adverse effects were similar when aromatase inhibitors were used as an initial treatment compared with switching to aromatase inhibitors after treatment with tamoxifen.

"However, it appears from the data -- and this is strictly hypothesis-generating -- that if a woman switches from one drug to another, there is a reduction in the risk from death from causes other than breast cancer," Amir said. "This potentially suggests that there may be side effects that build up the longer a woman is on a certain drug, but switching drugs may reduce the side effects."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Aromatase inhibitors increase risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women with breast cancer, analysis finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209101350.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2010, December 9). Aromatase inhibitors increase risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women with breast cancer, analysis finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209101350.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Aromatase inhibitors increase risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women with breast cancer, analysis finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209101350.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins