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Aromatase inhibitors raise risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal breast cancer patients

September 19, 2015

Data from the analysis confirmed that any duration of use of an aromatase inhibitor was associated with a 20 percent higher probability of developing cardiovascular disease. However, use of aromatase inhibitors also resulted in a reduced risk for venous thrombosis and endometrial carcinoma.

As a secondary analysis, they determined if switching from treatment with tamoxifen to aromatase inhibitors had any effect on mortality or adverse effects. Results showed that the risk for serious adverse effects were similar when aromatase inhibitors were used as an initial treatment compared with switching to aromatase inhibitors after treatment with tamoxifen.

"However, it appears from the data ?? and this is strictly hypothesis-generating ?? that if a woman switches from one drug to another, there is a reduction in the risk from death from causes other than breast cancer," Amir said. "This potentially suggests that there may be side effects that build up the longer a woman is on a certain drug, but switching drugs may reduce the side effects."

Source: CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium