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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 May;95(1-5):75-81.

Endocrine effects of aromatase inhibitors and inactivators in vivo: review of data and method limitations.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Section of Oncology, Haukeland University Hospital, N-5021 Bergen, Norway. jurgen.geisler@helse-bergen.no

Abstract

The so-called "third-generation" aromatase inhibitors/inactivators have become standard first-line endocrine therapy for postmenopausal women in the metastatic setting. In addition, these compounds, administered as monotherapy or in sequence with tamoxifen, are likely to become standard adjuvant therapy in most countries in the near future. In contrast to the SERMs, aromatase inhibitors may be assessed for their biochemical efficacy in vivo either by measuring their ability to suppress plasma and tissue estrogen levels or, alternatively, by measuring their ability to inhibit the conversion of tracer-labelled androstenedione into estrone. While contemporary methods for estrogen measurement (with the exception of estrone sulphate) lack the sensitivity to measure plasma estrogen levels during treatment with the most potent compounds, in vivo aromatase inhibition can be determined with a much better sensitivity. Thus, in a joint program conducted by the Royal Marsden Hospital, London and our team in Bergen, we were able to reveal profound differences between first- and second-generation aromatase inhibitors, causing 50-90% aromatase inhibition, and the three third-generation compounds, causing >98% inhibition of total body aromatization.

PMID:
15975785
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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