Aromatase inhibitors reduce new cancers?


Question from Marilyn: Are there data indicating that aromatase inhibitors reduce the occurrences of new primary breast cancers in general, and more specifically in the presence of BRCA mutations?
Answers - Andrew D. Seidman, M.D. Yes to the first part of the question. Clinical trials in which aromatase inhibitors have been given as adjuvant therapy for invasive breast cancer have indeed demonstrated lower rates of new primary breast cancer formation, either in the same breast assuming breast conserving surgery, or in the opposite breast. The magnitude of this apparent breast cancer prevention effect seems similar to that already observed for tamoxifen. To date, however, we have no data from a randomized prospective study that would support the use of aromatase inhibitor therapy as a breast cancer prevention strategy in a woman without a personal history of breast cancer. I am not aware of any differential effect of the ability of aromatase inhibitors to prevent breast cancers based on BRCA mutation status.
Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. I concur. Before we run out of time, I want to thank Dr. Seidman for his incredible contribution. His depth and breadth of knowledge, and his ability to communicate all of it in such an honest and straightforward manner make sharing the evening with him an absolute pleasure. It has been an honor and a privilege. Thank you.
Andrew D. Seidman, M.D. It has been my privilege to be able to participate in this unique forum, which allows for honest and open interchange of thoughts and ideas. Inasmuch as the chemotherapy era began in the 1960s, this decade I think can rightfully be called the beginning of the end of the chemotherapy era. Our ability to unravel the biology of not only breast cancer but other cancers, and to translate that knowledge into the development of rationally designed targeted therapies, only gives me much reason for optimism for the future of breast cancer therapy. My sincere best wishes for the good health of all those participating in this program.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2006, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Targeted Therapies: What is Right for You?Andrew Seidman, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answered your questions about different kinds of targeted therapies and how they work.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. 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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