Estrogens and their precursors in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer receiving anastrozole

James N. Ingle, Krishna R. Kalari, Aman U. Buzdar, Mark E. Robson, Matthew P. Goetz, Zeruesenay Desta, Poulami Barman, Tanda T. Dudenkov, Donald W. Northfelt, Edith A. Perez, David A. Flockhart, Clark V. Williard, Liewei Wang, Richard M. Weinshilboum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose We determined hormone concentrations (estradiol [E2], estrone [E1], estrone conjugates [E1-C], androstenedione [A], testosterone [T]) before and on anastrozole therapy where we also determined plasma concentrations of anastrozole and its metabolites. Experimental Postmenopausal women who were to receive adjuvant anastrozole for resected early breast cancer were studied. Pretreatment, blood samples were obtained for the acquisition of DNA and for plasma hormone measurements (E2, E1, E1-C, A, and T). A second blood draw was obtained at least 4 weeks after starting anastrozole for hormone, anastrozole and metabolite measurements. For hormone assays, a validated bioanalytical method using gas chromatography negative ionization tandem mass spectrometry was used. Anastrozole and metabolite assays involved extraction of plasma followed by LC/MS/MS assays. Results 649 patients were evaluable. Pretreatment and during anastrozole, there was large inter-individual variability in E2, E1, and E1-C as well as anastrozole and anastrozole metabolite concentrations. E2 and E1 concentrations were below the lower limits of quantitation in 79% and 70%, respectively, of patients on anastrozole therapy, but those with reliable concentrations had a broad range (0.627-234.0 pg/mL, 1.562-183.2 pg/mL, respectively). Considering E2, 8.9% had the same or higher concentration relative to baseline while on anastrozole, documented by the presence of drug. Conclusions We demonstrated large inter-individual variability in anastrozole and anastrozole metabolite concentrations as well as E1, E2, E1-C, A, and T concentrations before and while on anastrozole. These findings suggest that the standard 1 mg daily dose of anastrozole is not optimal for a substantial proportion of women with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
Issue numberPart A
StatePublished - May 26 2015


  • Anastrozole
  • Androstenedione
  • Estradiol
  • Estrone
  • Estrone conjugates
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Estrogens and their precursors in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer receiving anastrozole'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this