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Am J Clin Oncol. 2006 Aug;29(4):385-8.

Estrogen receptors evolution in neoadjuvant aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy for breast cancer in elderly women: stability of hormonal receptor expression during treatment.

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Institut Curie, Department of Surgery, Paris, France.


In France, 20% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 70 and 10% in women over the age of 80. As these women are not included in screening programs, breast cancer is often diagnosed later, at the stage of a large tumor.


To analyze clinical response, possibilities of conservative treatment and course of hormonal receptors in patients receiving neoadjuvant aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy for at least 6 months.


There were 75 patients, with a mean age of 75 +/- 8 years (range, 58-91 years) received AI for 6 months after the diagnosis of invasive breast cancer with positive hormonal receptors. Clinical and radiologic tumor reduction, the number of conservative treatments and the course of estrogens receptor-labeled cells were determined for each patient.


All but 1 of these patients obtained clinical reduction of their tumor. Of these, 86% patients received conservative treatment. In the majority of patients, estrogen receptor (ER) level did not vary between the initial assay and analysis of the operative specimen.


Aromatase inhibitors are effective as neoadjuvant therapy in ER positive elderly patients with large tumors, as is tamoxifen. Changes in hormone receptor expression during treatment do not predict clinical response. In our experience, neoadjuvant AI therapy should be administered for at least 6 months to optimize clinical response before deciding upon surgery. Discrepancy observed in the literature could be explained by the duration of the treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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