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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Aromatase inhibitors in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the current clinical status and possible future applications of aromatase inhibitors in breast cancer. METHODS: A review of the literature on the third-generation aromatase inhibitors was conducted. Some data that have been presented but not published are included. In addition, the designs of ongoing trials with aromatase inhibitors are outlined and the implications of possible results discussed. RESULTS: All of the third-generation oral aromatase inhibitors--letrozole, anastrozole, and vorozole (nonsteroidal, type II) and exemestane (steroidal, type I)--have now been tested in phase III trials as second-line treatment of postmenopausal hormone-dependent breast cancer. They have shown clear superiority compared with the conventional therapies and are therefore considered established second-line hormonal agents. Currently, they are being tested as first-line therapy in the metastatic, adjuvant, and neoadjuvant settings. Preliminary results suggest that the inhibitors might displace tamoxifen as first-line treatment, but further studies are needed to determine this. CONCLUSION: The role of aromatase inhibitors in premenopausal breast cancer and in combination with chemotherapy and other anticancer treatments are areas of future exploration. The ongoing adjuvant trials will provide important data on the long-term safety of aromatase inhibitors, which will help to determine their suitability for use as chemopreventives in healthy women at risk of developing breast cancer.[1]


  1. Aromatase inhibitors in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Goss, P.E., Strasser, K. J. Clin. Oncol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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