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Hormone Combination Effective in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Linked to antitumor activity in premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive disease

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The combined use of the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole and the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist goserelin appears to have substantial antitumor activity in the treatment of premenopausal women who have hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In a prospective, single-arm, multicenter phase II trial, Robert W. Carlson, M.D., of the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center in California, and colleagues evaluated 32 patients treated with goserelin (3.6 mg subcutaneous monthly), with anastrozole (1 mg daily) initiated 21 days after the first injection of goserelin. Treatment was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

The researchers found that one patient (3.1 percent) had a complete response, 11 patients (34.4 percent) experienced a partial response, and 11 patients (34.4 percent) had stable disease for six months or longer, corresponding to a clinical benefit rate of 71.9 percent. In addition, the median time to progression was 8.3 months but median survival was not reached during the study. Although patients did not experience grade 4 and 5 toxicities, the most common adverse events were fatigue (50 percent), arthralgias (53 percent), and hot flashes (59 percent).

"In summary, the hormone combination of goserelin and anastrozole is a highly active endocrine maneuver in premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, metastatic breast cancer," the authors write. "Further study and expanded use of this combination in current practice is warranted."

The study was funded in part by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Several authors disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca, and one author disclosed a financial relationship with Pfizer.

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