Intermittent Letrozole Administration as Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Postmenopausal Women with Hormone Receptor-Positive Early Breast Cancer: A Biologic Study

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Background Letrozole withdrawal for 3 months might permit estrogenic stimulation in residual resistant breast cancer disease susceptible to letrozole reintroduction. We investigated the impact of a 3-month letrozole-free interval on serum estradiol levels in patients with early stage breast cancer. Patients and Methods Postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor- and/or progesterone receptor-positive (> 10% of immunoreactive cells), node-negative early breast cancer were eligible. Patients received letrozole for 5 years with a 3-month treatment-free interval after the first year of therapy. The primary end point was to evaluate the increase in serum estradiol levels after a 3-month treatment-free interval. The secondary end points were the evaluations of other biologic markers (eg, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, osteocalcin). Results From November 2007 to February 2012, 130 evaluable patients were enrolled. The median age was 61 years. Mean values of estradiol levels at time of discontinuation were 5.6 pg/mL (standard deviation 1.7). Estradiol levels increased after a 3-month treatment-free interval by a mean of 3.3 pg/mL (66%; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e257-e262
JournalClinical Breast Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015



  • Adjuvant endocrine treatment
  • Estradiol serum level
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Intermittent administration
  • Progesterone receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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