Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exemestane may be another first-line, adjuvant therapy for hormone-receptor positive, early-stage breast cancer

Date:
December 9, 2010
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor that blocks production of estrogen, may provide another post-surgery option for postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor positive, early-stage breast cancer.

Exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor that blocks production of estrogen, may provide another post-surgery option for postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor positive, early-stage breast cancer.

Related Articles


In the first head-to-head adjuvant clinical trial comparing two aromatase inhibitors, anastrozole and exemestane, the drugs resulted in similar survival rates and prevention of breast cancer recurrences. Some differences in the side effect profile were seen, including a potential difference in the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Paul E. Goss, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, presented detailed results of this study at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12, 2010.

In hormone-receptor positive breast cancer estrogen stimulates tumor growth. Currently, patients undergo surgery and then receive drugs that stop estrogen production for five years. Aromatase inhibitors block an enzyme, which is responsible for converting androgens to estrogens.

In previous research, aromatase inhibitors have shown superiority over standard endocrine therapies, with anastrozole and letrozole as the only drugs in the class approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a first-line, adjuvant therapy.

But Goss said investigators had hypothesized that another class of aromatase inhibitors, of which exemestane is an example, may be more potent and have a more favorable side effect profile, including less damage to bones, organs and lipid metabolism.

"The difference in the drug class is that anastrozole is a non-steroidal inhibitor and exemestane is a steroidal inhibitor," said Goss.

To test this hypothesis, the NCIC Clinical Trials Group at Queen's University, Canada, led a large, randomized clinical trial comparing the two treatments among 7,576 women from Canada, the United States and Europe. The trial included support from the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program and the European-based International Breast Cancer Study Group.

"We found that the drugs are comparable in terms of preventing recurrent breast cancer and in overall survival," said Goss. "Osteoporosis was reported less frequently and cholesterol levels appeared to be lower in patients on exemestane than anastrozole. Other side effects such as mood change and abnormalities of blood tests assessing liver function were reported more frequently with exemestane, although, the overall numbers of these events were small. With these results, exemestane should be considered as an alternative to anastrozole for initial adjuvant therapy."

Exemestane is currently approved by the FDA when used following tamoxifen, a standard endocrine therapy, or as a second-line therapy for metastatic breast cancer.

"The three available aromatase inhibitors are due to come off patent and these results provide another alternative for the most commonly prescribed medication for breast cancer globally," he said.

The good news for patients is how well women in this trial did, with a reported 91 percent overall survival rate after more than four years of follow-up, according to Goss. "The results are likely as a result of a combination of many advances including screening, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and endocrine therapy," he said.

Initially, the researcher's clinical trial also included investigating the role of a COX-2 inhibitor called celecoxib when used in combination with the aromatase inhibitors. Less than two years into this seven-year trial, this portion of the study was discontinued because of concerns about heart problems associated with COX-2 inhibitors. A total of 1,635 women had received celecoxib at that time.

COX-2 inhibitors are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce inflammation by blocking COX-2 enzyme, which is responsible for the pain and swelling associated with inflammation. They are also produced in response to precancerous and cancerous tissues.

"Therefore, the value of COX-2 inhibitors in reducing breast cancer recurrence remains unanswered," said Goss.


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. "Exemestane may be another first-line, adjuvant therapy for hormone-receptor positive, early-stage breast cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209113544.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2010, December 9). Exemestane may be another first-line, adjuvant therapy for hormone-receptor positive, early-stage breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209113544.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Exemestane may be another first-line, adjuvant therapy for hormone-receptor positive, early-stage breast cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209113544.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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