Navigation Links
Certain Breast Cancer Drugs Linked With Heart Risks in Older Women
Date:12/9/2010

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of aromatase inhibitors, drugs often prescribed to breast cancer patients, may increase the risk of heart problems for postmenopausal women, according to a Canadian researcher.

''There have always been suspicions," said Dr. Eitan Amir, senior fellow at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, who is scheduled to present the findings this week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas.

In December 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added a warning label to anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor marketed as Arimidex, citing a potential increased risk for heart disease.

Amir's team evaluated previously published studies to find out if other aromatase inhibitors also increased the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women with breast cancer. ''We looked at seven trials which have compared aromatase inhibitors with tamoxifen,'' he said

Aromatase inhibitors, which also include Femara and Aromasin, prevent the production of estrogen, which some cancers need to grow and spread. Tamoxifen, another drug frequently prescribed for breast cancer patients with estrogen-sensitive tumors, blocks the effect of estrogen in breast tissue. Under current guidelines, the two drugs may be used in either order for the several years of treatment typically recommended.

''Overall, there is a 26 percent increased risk in heart events -- heart attack, angina and heart failure -- for women taking aromatase inhibitors for longer duration," which typically means more than three years, Amir said.

''But those are relative statistics, and they can be a bit misleading," he says. A relative risk compares the risk in two different groups of people. Another measure -- absolute risk -- refers to one person's actual risk of developing the disease over a given time period.

In this study, the absolute risk to any one woman taking an aromatase inhibitor was less alarming. "Only 1 percent more got heart disease," Amir said. But the risk among those who already had risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, was as high as 7 percent.

''Aromatase inhibitors are being given routinely to many [breast cancer] patients," he said. And not everyone gets the same benefit, he said, so treatment should be based not just on breast cancer risk, but on the patient's cardiovascular profile and other health risks, he said.

"If you have heart disease, perhaps you want to avoid aromatase inhibitors," Amir said.

Another option would be to switch from one drug to the other, to avoid staying on aromatase inhibitors long-term, he said.

When he compared women who used aromatase inhibitors first to those who used tamoxifen first, the risk for serious adverse effects was similar. But there was a hint that switching drugs reduced the risk of death from other causes.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the findings should be viewed as preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Still, the findings are no surprise, said Dr. Julie Gralow, director of breast medical oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, who reviewed the study results but was not involved in it.

Aromatase inhibitors aren't perfect, she said. Neither is tamoxifen, which has been linked with blood clots, stroke and cataracts.

"For some women maybe tamoxifen is better," said Gralow, who is careful to follow her patients closely and monitor them for any suggestion of heart disease.

As with much of medical practice, decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis, she said.

More information

To learn more about aromatase inhibitors, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Eitan Amir, M.D., senior fellow, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Julie Gralow, M.D., director of breast medical oncology and Seattle Cancer Alliance, and professor, oncology division, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec. 8-12, 2010, San Antonio, Texas


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Certain Formulations of Omega-3s Might Help With Depression
2. Diagnosis uncertainty increases anxiety in patients
3. Women Taking Certain Epilepsy Drugs Can Safely Breast-Feed, Study Suggests
4. Low Vitamin D Linked to Deterioration in Certain Leukemia Patients
5. New Drug, Pradaxa, May Prevent Second Stroke in Certain Heart Patients
6. New Drug Shows Promise Against Certain Lung Cancers
7. Certain cancer therapies success depends on presence of immune cell, Stanford study shows in mice
8. Certain new therapies for age-related eye disease do not appear to increase heart risks
9. A revolutionary new way of reversing certain cancers
10. Bacteria identified that may lead to inflammatory bowel disease in certain individuals
11. Double-Dose Plavix Benefits Certain Patients, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Certain Breast Cancer Drugs Linked With Heart Risks in Older Women
(Date:6/27/2017)... , ... June 27, 2017 , ... Hammer Strength, the ... (NBSCA) have named Javair Gillett of the Houston Rockets the NBSCA Strength & Conditioning ... award is decided by NBSCA members who vote to select the coach who embodies ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... East Los Angeles dentist, Ramin ... about early life experiences. What happens to a woman during pregnancy can have profound ... can also take a toll on a baby’s long-term health. This study, which was ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... ... Dental Center is now offering various types of dental implants to restore lost teeth. ... prosthetic teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. An implant is placed directly into the ... for the tooth. , Several types of dental implants are available, including: , ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... Maryland’s soybean farmers have improved ... released by the United Soybean Board. , Thanks to the responsible use ... their productivity on less land per bushel, the report says. The United Soybean ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... If ... are seeing lots of red these days. According to recent estimates, 75 – ... from medical coding errors(1). Some studies point to Electronic Health Records (EHR) with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/7/2017)... -- Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) ... Joseph R. Goodwin , U.S. District Court Judge for ... , entered a case management order in MDL 2325, ... Litigation (the "MDL") that includes a provision requiring plaintiffs ... on specific causation within one hundred twenty (120) days ...
(Date:6/3/2017)... -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ... 3 MONARCH 2 study showed that abemaciclib, a ... with fulvestrant, significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) compared ... hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative ... progressed after endocrine therapy (median PFS, 16.4 vs. ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... AVIV, Israel , May 30, 2017 ... stage pharmaceutical Company specializing in the development of ... will present a company overview at three upcoming ... The 7th Annual LD Micro Invitational: ... Date:                     ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: