Aromatase inhibitor use beyond five years?

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Question from Zelensk: Is there any support for extending the use of aromatase inhibitors beyond the 5-year time period? Are there any circumstances where it might be warranted?
Answers - Generosa Grana, M.D., F.A.C.P There are currently ongoing trials looking at extending aromatase inhibitors beyond 5 years. One such trial being conducted by the NSABP is giving women finishing 5 years of an aromatase inhibitor 5 more years of either letrozole or a placebo. Thus far, we have no data to do anything more than 5 years of therapy. Personally, I would consider longer therapy in a truly high-risk woman (multiple lymph nodes involved, inflammatory disease, or locally advanced disease). Many of those women will not be eligible for the national trial and we definitely discuss this and come to a decision together. The woman needs to understand the lack of data, and that there may indeed be toxicity from continuing the aromatase inhibitor in the way of arthritic symptoms, worsening osteoporosis, or other as-of-yet unidentified risks.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Updates From the 2008 ASCO Annual Meeting featured Generosa Grana, M.D., F.A.C.P. and Carol Kaplan, M.D. answering your questions about the latest research advances on screening, treatment, side effects, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in June 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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