The first oral aromatase inactivator for the
treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer whose
tumors have stopped responding to tamoxifen (Nolvadex) therapy is now
available in the United States. Pharmacia & Upjohn announced that
the agent, exemestane (Aromasin), which has been in use in Europe, is
now available in the United States.
Unlike currently available agents, exemestane is the first oral
hormonal therapy that binds irreversibly to the aromatase enzyme, an
action that interferes with the supply of estrogen to the cancerous
tumors that are dependent on the hormone.
This unique mechanism of action has prompted a cooperative cancer
study group to begin further study of exemestane, according to the
manufacturer. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of
Cancer (EORTC) recently concluded a randomized phase II trial of
exemestane vs tamoxifen as first-line hormonal therapy in
postmenopausal breast cancer patients. Data from this trial have been
submitted to the American Society of Clinical Oncology for
consideration for its annual meeting.
More About Exemestane
Pharmacia & Upjohn gained approval from the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) for exemestane late in 1999. The agent is
currently available in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, and
the Nordic countries.
Like other hormonal therapies, exemestane should not be administered
to women who are premenopausal or coadministered with
estrogen-containing agents that can interfere with its action.
Adverse events associated with exemestane are typically mild to
moderate and include hot flashes, nausea, and fatigue.
For more information, call the Patient Product Services (HOT) line at
(888) 691-6813 or visit the Pharmacia & Upjohn web site at www.pnu.com.