FDA Approves New Use for Breast Cancer Drug
Aromasin May Now Treat Early Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women
Aromatase Inhibitors continued...
Arimidex was recently compared to tamoxifen in a similar Austrian study. The
results, published in The Lancet in August, showed fewer cancer recurrences in
women who were switched to Aromasin after taking tamoxifen for about two years,
instead of continuing with tamoxifen.
in yet another study, which was presented in May
at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
None of those studies did a head-to-head comparison of aromatase
Aromatase inhibitors are generally known for a lower risk of blood clots
compared with tamoxifen, yet they appear to have a higher risk of bone loss and
fracture. As relatively new drugs, there is still more to learn about them.
Aromatase inhibitors are also more costly than tamoxifen, which is now
available as a generic drug.
Different From Tamoxifen
Like tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors target estrogen, which fuels some (but
not all) breast cancers.
Tamoxifen blocks estrogen receptors on cells. It acts like your car's gas
cap, preventing the "fuel" (estrogen) from getting into the
"tank" (the cell).
Aromatase inhibitors work differently. They curb estrogen production. That
way, there's no "gas" to go in the "tank."
Tamoxifen has been a major part of breast cancer treatment for more than 20
years. It's typically taken for five years after surgery, chemotherapy, and
radiation to try to prevent cancer's return.