A decade of letrozole: FACE

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Third-generation nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors (AIs), letrozole and anastrozole, are superior to tamoxifen as initial therapy for early breast cancer but have not been directly compared in a head-to-head adjuvant trial. Cumulative evidence suggests that AIs are not equivalent in terms of potency of estrogen suppression and that there may be differences in clinical efficacy. Thus, with no data from head-to-head comparisons of the AIs as adjuvant therapy yet available, the question of whether there are efficacy differences between the AIs remains. To help answer this question, the Femara versus Anastrozole Clinical Evaluation (FACE) is a phase IIIb open-label, randomized, multicenter trial designed to test whether letrozole or anastrozole has superior efficacy as adjuvant treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor (HR)- and lymph node-positive breast cancer. Eligible patients (target accrual, N = 4,000) are randomized to receive either letrozole 2.5 mg or anastrozole 1 mg daily for up to 5 years. The primary objective is to compare disease-free survival at 5 years. Secondary end points include safety, overall survival, time to distant metastases, and time to contralateral breast cancer. The FACE trial will determine whether or not letrozole offers a greater clinical benefit to postmenopausal women with HR+ early breast cancer at increased risk of early recurrence compared with anastrozole.

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