Lipid changes in breast cancer patients on exemestane treatment: final results of the TEAM Greek substudy

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The Greek substudy of the Tamoxifen and Exemestane Adjuvant Multicenter International trial compared the effect of exemestane on the lipid profile of postmenopausal, breast cancer patients to that of tamoxifen in the adjuvant setting.

Patients and methods

Lipidemic profile changes were studied in 142 postmenopausal patients randomized to receive either adjuvant exemestane (n=77) or tamoxifen (n=65). Total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and serum triglyceride (TRG) levels were measured at baseline and then every 3 months for the first 12 months of treatment and at 18 and 24 months.


A trend for a reduction in TC was found in both treatment arms; however, TC and LDL levels were consistently and significantly decreased in tamoxifen arm only. The mean HDL level was higher for the tamoxifen arm compared with the exemestane arm across time. No significant trend was detected throughout the study period on TRG levels on either arm.


Unlike tamoxifen's beneficial effect on TC and LDL levels, exemestane appears to have a neutral effect on lipidemic profile of postmenopausal, breast cancer patients. These data offer additional information with regard to the safety and tolerability of exemestane treatment in the adjuvant setting.

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