Aromasin Offers Better Breast Cancer Survival Rates
The Intergroup Exemestane Study(IES) yielded data showing that hormone-sensitive postmenopausal earlybreast cancer patients who switchedfrom tamoxifen to Aromasin (exemestane)were 17% more likely to be aliveand 25% less likely to see their cancerreturn than patients who remained ontamoxifen for 5 years. These study findingsstem from almost 5 years of followupof the IES trial, a large, randomized,double-blind, multinational trial comparing2352 patients taking Aromasin followingtamoxifen therapy with 2372patients remaining on tamoxifen therapyfor 5 years. The IES produced earlyresults that prompted the FDA andEuropean regulatory approvals forAromasin. These findings showed that85% of patients in the trial were postmenopausalhormone receptor-positive,and those who switched to Aromasinreduced their risk of breast cancer recurrenceby 35%, compared with the tamoxifengroup. Previously, no difference insurvival rates had been noted. Sideeffects were mild to moderate andincluded hot flashes, fatigue, arthralgia,headache, insomnia, and increasedsweating.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.