Updated adjuvant data presented at SABCS show 30 percent reduction in recurrence

published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, included among its treatment options for women initially started on tamoxifen a switch to an aromatase inhibitor based on data from the AROMASIN study, IES.

Professor Charles Coombes, Director of the Cancer Research UK Laboratories at Imperial College London, Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals presented an update from the IES today at the 27th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium based on 37.4 months of median follow-up and 4,740 patients. These findings showed that 193 women treated with exemestane experienced a local or distant recurrence of disease compared with 264 women who continued on tamoxifen. A 30 percent reduction in risk of recurrence in breast cancer was reported when women were switched to AROMASIN after 2-3 years of tamoxifen, compared to those who continued on tamoxifen for a total of 5 years, the current standard of care (P=0.00005). In addition 54 percent fewer cases of contralateral breast cancer (12 vs. 26) developed in women treated with AROMASIN compared to those who remained on tamoxifen (P=0.04).

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. It is estimated that 213,910 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and more than 40,921 women will lose their lives to the disease. Breast cancer is estrogen-dependent in 2/3 of all cases.

AROMASIN (exemestane) was approved in the United States late in 1999 for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women whose tumors have stopped responding to tamoxifen. It also is approved for use in Europe, Japan, and South America.

Unlike other aromatase inhibitors, exemestane is a steroidal aromatase inactivator, which means it selectively targets and irreversibly binds to the aromatase enzyme, which is required to produce estrogen. Without estrogen, breast cancer cells cannot survive.

Exemestane is well tolerated and the side effects ass

Contact: Steven Cooper
Edelman Public Relations

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