AIs and Cardiac Health
This is a report from a study presented at last week's San Antonio meetings about the impact of the AIs on cardiac health. Note that this is a first and single study, and there is no way of knowing, at this time, whether further research will support these concerns. The bottom line at the moment is that the AIs may increase a woman's risk of cardiac events and bone damage (we've known about that part for a while).
As an aside and some background: In 2006, a study comparing the initial use of AIs vs Tamoxifen was, per protocal, stopped early when the evidence was clear that women taking AIs were doing better. There was a lot of controversy about this at the time as many adovocates and some scientists felt that this was the only time when data about longterm outcomes and possible distant side effects could be gathered. By stopping the trial early, the opportunity was lost forever. I can't help wondering if we would know more about the apparent possible cardiac risks if that trial had continued.
At any rate, here is a quote from MedPage and then a link to read more:
SABCS: Aromatase Inhibitors May Be Heartbreakers
SAN ANTONIO -- Aromatase inhibitors appear to increase the risk of cardiac events among women being treated for breast cancer, an analysis of several studies showed.
The relative risk of suffering a cardiovascular event increased 26% (0.01); however, that excess risk can be mitigated if a woman is treated with tamoxifen first and then switches to an aromatase inhibitor, according to Eitan Amir, MD, of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
The study also showed that women taking aromatase inhibitors has a 47% increased relative risk of bone fractures, Amir said at a press briefing at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
On the other hand, the meta-analysis of seven large clinical trials confirmed the use of aromatase inhibitors compared with tamoxifen was associated with significant reductions in the risk of venous thromboembolism and endometrial cancer.
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