Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Oncol. 2010 Mar;21(3):498-505. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdp358. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Long-term endometrial effects in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer participating in the Intergroup Exemestane Study (IES)--a randomised controlled trial of exemestane versus continued tamoxifen after 2-3 years tamoxifen.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oncology, Singleton Hospital, South West Wales Cancer Institute, Swansea, UK.



The antiestrogen tamoxifen may have partial estrogen-like effects on the postmenopausal uterus. Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are increasingly used after initial tamoxifen in the adjuvant treatment of postmenopausal early breast cancer due to their mechanism of action: a potential benefit being a reduction of uterine abnormalities caused by tamoxifen.


Sonographic uterine effects of the steroidal AI exemestane were studied in 219 women participating in the Intergroup Exemestane Study: a large trial in postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive (or unknown) early breast cancer, disease free after 2-3 years of tamoxifen, randomly assigned to continue tamoxifen or switch to exemestane to complete 5 years adjuvant treatment. The primary end point was the proportion of patients with abnormal (> or =5 mm) endometrial thickness (ET) on transvaginal ultrasound 24 months after randomisation.


The analysis included 183 patients. Two years after randomisation, the proportion of patients with abnormal ET was significantly lower in the exemestane compared with tamoxifen arm (36% versus 62%, respectively; P = 0.004). This difference emerged within 6 months of switching treatment (43.5% versus 65.2%, respectively; P = 0.01) and disappeared within 12 months of treatment completion (30.8% versus 34.7%, respectively; P = 0.67).


Switching from tamoxifen to exemestane significantly reverses endometrial thickening associated with continued tamoxifen.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk