Sequential treatment with exemestane and non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors in advanced breast cancer.
ABSTRACT The steroidal aromatase inactivator exemestane has demonstrated activity after prior failure of non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors (including third-generation inhibitors letrozole and anastrozole) in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer. If exemestane is used as first anti-aromatase agent, however, it is unclear whether patients can still benefit from letrozole or anastrozole after progression.
Postmenopausal patients with advanced, hormone receptor-positive or -unknown breast cancer were eligible for this study. Patients with no prior exposure to anti-aromatase drugs received exemestane, 25 mg daily, as first anti-aromatase agent. At the time of progression, patients were crossed-over to anastrozole or letrozole if further endocrine therapy was considered appropriate. Patients with prior exposure to anti-aromatase agents were also included in the study, and were given anastrozole or letrozole if they had previously received exemestane, or exemestane if they had previously received anastrozole or letrozole. The primary endpoint of the study was the clinical benefit rate (complete response + partial response + stabilization of disease for >or=24 weeks).
Forty patients received exemestane 25 mg daily as first anti-aromatase agent, with a CB rate of 67.5% (95% CI 52.9-82.0%) and a median time to progression (TTP) of 9.6 months. In 18 patients, letrozole (n = 17) or anastrozole (n = 1) were used after failure of exemestane: the CB rate was 55.6% (95% CI 32.6-78.5%) with a median TTP of 9.3 months. In 23 patients, exemestane was used after failure of letrozole or anastrozole: the CB rate was 43.5% (95% CI 23.2-63.7%) with a median TTP of 5.1 months.
Our study confirms that exemestane is active after prior failure of letrozole or anastrozole. We have also shown that patients can receive exemestane as their first anti-aromatase agent and still benefit from letrozole or anastrozole after progression. This suggests that the partial non-cross resistance between steroidal and non-steroidal anti-aromatase agents is independent of the sequence employed.
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ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in women and responsible for significant female cancer-related mortality worldwide. In the Western world, over 80% of breast cancers are hormone-receptor positive for which endocrine therapy is administered. The main anti-estrogen treatments in use consist of selective estrogen-receptor modulators, such as tamoxifen, and third-generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs), such as exemestane, letrozole, and anastrozole. In this review, the focus will lie on exemestane, its clinical use, and its side-effect profile. Exemestane is the only third-generation steroidal AI. Its efficacy as a first-line treatment in metastatic breast cancer has been demonstrated. Therefore, exemestane could be considered a valid first-line therapeutic option, but it also can be used in second-line or further situations. Exemestane is mostly used as part of sequential adjuvant treatment following tamoxifen, but in this setting it is also active in monotherapy. Furthermore, this AI has been studied in the neoadjuvant setting as presurgical treatment, and even as chemoprevention in high-risk healthy postmenopausal women. It may reverse side effects of tamoxifen, such as endometrial changes and thromboembolic disease but may also cause some inconvenient side effects itself. Additionally, there is a lack of total cross-resistance between exemestane and nonsteroidal AIs as far as their anti-tumoral efficacy is concerned; moreover the two classes of AIs display a nontotal overlapping toxicity profile. Taking together, exemestane can be considered as a useful treatment option at all stages of breast cancer.Endocrine Related Cancer 01/2014; 21(1):R31-49. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Clinically, there are two distinct types of aromatase inhibitor (AI) resistance, namely acquired and innate resistance. Because the underlying mechanisms of these two types of resistance may not be mutually exclusive, strategies to tackle these resistances may not be effective when used interchangeably. Activation of growth factor receptor pathways is the hallmark of acquired AI resistance. These pathways can be targeted either at the cell surface receptor level or their downstream signaling cascades. Currently, everolimus in combination with exemestane represents a new standard of care for patients progressing on non-steroidal AIs. HDAC inhibitors have also shown promising results For innate resistance, the combination of fulvestrant and AI in the front line setting represents a new treatment option, particularly for patients who present with de novo metastatic disease. A Phase III trial is currently ongoing to evaluate the benefit of CDK 4/6 inhibitor, palbociclib, in the first line setting in combination with AI.Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 02/2014; · 2.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patient: Female, 56 Final Diagnosis: Breast cancer Symptoms: Solid mass in the right breast Medication: Exemestane Clinical Procedure: - Specialty: Oncology. Unusual clinical course. The efficacy of third-generation aromatase inhibitors for hormone receptor-positive postmenopausal metastatic breast cancer is well established. Although several clinical trials have reported incomplete cross-resistance between different aromatase inhibitors, few cases of complete responses of recurrent metastatic breast cancer occurring after substituting a second aromatase inhibitor have been reported. We here present a rare case of non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor-tolerant metastatic breast cancer with long-term complete remission following substitution of a steroidal aromatase inhibitor. We present the case of a 56-year-old Japanese woman who underwent right breast-conserving surgery for breast cancer, TNM staging T1, N0, M0, Stage I. She received adjuvant chemotherapy with 6 cycles of FEC100 and radiation therapy, and then began hormonal therapy with anastrozole. Twelve months postoperatively, computed tomography (CT) revealed multiple lung metastases. Exemestane was substituted for anastrozole. After 3 months of exemestane, CT showed that all lung metastases had completely resolved. Her complete response was maintained for 5 years: she died during a tsunami 6 years after the initial surgery. Substitution of a steroidal for a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor produced a sustained complete remission in a patient with hormonal receptor-positive postmenopausal recurrent breast cancer. Achieving complete response after switching from a non-steroidal to a steroidal aromatase inhibitor in a hormonal receptor-positive postmenopausal recurrent breast cancer contributed to a higher quality of life for the patient. Further investigation is needed to identify the predictors of long-term remission following such a switch.The American journal of case reports. 01/2014; 15:85-9.