Exemestane as primary treatment of oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women: a phase II trial

A Barnadas, M Gil, S González, I Tusquets, M Muñoz, A Arcusa, L Prieto, M Margelí-Vila, A Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


To assess the efficacy of exemestane as neoadjuvant treatment, 55 postmenopausal women (mean age: 76 years; range: 66-86) with oestrogen-positive non-metastatic breast tumour and ineligible for conservative surgery were recruited into this phase II trial to receive oral exemestane (25 mg day(-1)) for 6 months. Tumour response was evaluated by clinical examination, mammography and breast ultrasound every 2 months (RECIST criteria). Overall clinical response to treatment was observed in 33/54 patients (61.1%; 95% CI: 48.1-74.0). Radiological responses in 45 evaluable patients were partial response in 23, stable disease in 21 and disease progression in one. Median time to surgery from the commencement of treatment was 7 months; conservative surgery in 24 patients (55.8%) and mastectomy in 19 patients (34.5%); no surgery (patient choice or considered not suitable by attending physician) in 12 patients. Pathologic complete response was observed in breast and axilla in one patient (2.3%) and different forms of persistent disease in 23 (53.5%) patients. Treatment tolerance was good. No patient withdrew from the study because of toxic events. We conclude that exemestane as a primary treatment is feasible and very active in elderly patients with large-sized breast cancer tumour. Conservative surgery is feasible in responding patients. No severe adverse events were detected. The optimal hormonal treatment schedule remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-9
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2009


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Androstadienes/therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Aromatase Inhibitors/therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Receptors, Estrogen/metabolism
  • Survival Analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Exemestane as primary treatment of oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women: a phase II trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this