A review of the newer aromatase inhibitors in the management of metastatic breast cancer

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Breast cancer remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide. While aminoglutethimide, a first-generation aromatase inhibitor, has equivalent efficacy to first-line tamoxifen in the palliative treatment of metastatic breast cancer, its toxicity profile has relegated this drug to a second- or third-line agent in this setting. Recently, several aromatase inhibitors have been released onto the market while others are in phase II and III clinical trials.


To review the role of the new aromatase inhibitors in the management of metastatic breast cancer.


Current literature, abstracts from meetings and information from pharmaceutical manufacturers have been summarized.


A review of the clinical pharmacology of the new aromatase inhibitors has been provided in addition to a synopsis of phase III clinical studies.


The newer aromatase inhibitors have several advantages compared to aminoglutethimide and are a useful addition to the armamentarium of therapies employed in the palliative management of advanced breast cancer.

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