Planned safety analysis of a breast cancer prevention study reveals encouraging news for exemestane

December 13, 2008

San Antonio - An interim analysis of a breast cancer prevention study using exemestane (Aromasin®) finds an "acceptable" level of bone loss.

The ongoing phase II study details reported today, by Jennifer Eng-Wong, MD, a breast cancer specialist at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, examines the use of exemestane in postmenopausal women who are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer based on commonly used risk assessment measures. In addition to exemestane, all the study participants received calcium carbonate and vitamin D.

Wong's report represents findings from a planned interim safety analysis in 18 women who completed one year of exemestane.

"We found a drop in bone mineral density in these women similar to what we've seen in women taking exemestane in the adjuvant treatment setting." Eng-Wong reports. "Like aromatase inhibitors in the adjuvant setting there is a small amount of bone loss in the spine and hip. The long term clinical impact of the small decrease is not known."

The exemestane study continues with endpoints including bone density measurements and change in breast density over two years of treatment. Dense breasts as observed on a mammogram are associated with an increase in a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
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In addition to Eng-Wong, other authors (all from the National Cancer Institute) include James C. Reynolds, David Venzon, Suparna Wedam, Sheila Prindiville, Jo Ann Zujewki, and Larissa Korde.

This study is funded by NCI Intramural Research Program and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center. The authors have no financial relationships to disclose.

About Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university's sponsored research funding.

Georgetown University Medical Center

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