Aromatase inhibitors for therapy of advanced breast cancer

James N. Ingle, Vera J. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer, numerous phase III trials have been performed comparing the third-generation non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors (NS-AIs) anastrozole and letrozole and the steroidal AI (S-AI) exemestane in the "first-line" setting against tamoxifen and in the "second-line" setting against megestrol acetate. In both settings, the AIs were at least as efficacious or superior in some endpoints with a preferable toxicity profile including a lower incidence of thrombotic events. Relatively small differences in potency between the three AIs have been identified and it has not been demonstrated that these differences have clinical implications. The recent establishment of the value of AIs in the adjuvant setting for postmenopausal women will impact on their utilization in advanced disease. In premenopausal women the third-generation AIs have not been studied as monotherapy and there is a paucity of data in combination with ovarian function suppression in the advanced disease setting. The main area of future investigations for the AIs in premenopausal women will be in the adjuvant therapy setting in combination with suppression of ovarian function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1-5
StatePublished - May 1 2005


  • Anastrozole
  • Aromatase inhibitors
  • Clinical trials
  • Exemestane
  • Letrozole
  • Tamoxifen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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