The role of letrozole (FEMARA®) in breast cancer therapy: A clinical review

E. Crucitta, N. Locopo, N. Silvestris, M. De Lena, V. Lorusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Letrozole is a third-generation aromatase inhibitor for use in postmenopausal women with hormonal-sensitive breast cancer. This drug was found to reduce or effectively shrink tumors in a significant number of such patients. It exhibits antitumor activity at a relatively low daily dose, and is highly potent and selective and well tolerated. Results from recent phase III clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy and the key role of this drug in the therapy of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Moreover, letrozole demonstrated higher activity and lower toxicity compared to tamoxifen in the first-line therapy of postmenopausal women affected with advanced breast cancer. However, it also represents a valid option in second-line therapy after tamoxifen failure. New data on this agent in adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment also suggest efficacy in the treatment of early breast cancer. This article reviews the clinical data on letrozole in all settings and its future potential in chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-644
Number of pages6
JournalDrugs of Today
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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