"Medscape Medical News
Alexander M. Castellino, PhD
August 26, 2016
In breast cancer patients who were judged to be at high risk by clinical assessment, and who were thus destined for chemotherapy, use of the 70-gene si"...
Reductions In Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
Reductions in bone mineral density (BMD) over time are seen with exemestane use. Table 1 describes changes in BMD from baseline to 24 months in patients receiving exemestane compared to patients receiving tamoxifen (IES) or placebo (027). Concomitant use of bisphosphonates, vitamin D supplementation, and calcium was not allowed.
Table 1. Percent Change in BMD from Baseline to 24 months, Exemestane vs. Control1
|Exemestane N=29||Tamoxifen1 N=38||Exemestane N=59||Placebo1 N=65|
|Lumbar spine (%)||-3.14||-0.18||-3.51||-2.35|
|Femoral neck (%)||-4.15||-0.33||-4.57||-2.59|
During adjuvant treatment with exemestane, women with osteoporosis or at risk of osteoporosis should have their bone mineral density formally assessed by bone densitometry at the commencement of treatment. Monitor patients for bone mineral density loss and treat as appropriate.
Vitamin D Assessment
Routine assessment of 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels prior to the start of aromatase inhibitor treatment should be performed, due to the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in women with early breast cancer (EBC). Women with vitamin D deficiency should receive supplementation with vitamin D.
Administration With Estrogen-Containing Agents
In patients with early breast cancer, the incidence of hematological abnormalities of Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) grade ≥1 was lower in the exemestane treatment group, compared with tamoxifen. Incidence of CTC grade 3 or 4 abnormalities was low (approximately 0.1%) in both treatment groups. Approximately 20% of patients receiving exemestane in clinical studies in advanced breast cancer experienced CTC grade 3 or 4 lymphocytopenia. Of these patients, 89% had a pre-existing lower grade lymphopenia. Forty percent of patients either recovered or improved to a lesser severity while on treatment. Patients did not have a significant increase in viral infections, and no opportunistic infections were observed. Elevations of serum levels of AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transferase >5 times the upper value of the normal range (i.e., ≥ CTC grade 3) have been rarely reported in patients treated for advanced breast cancer but appear mostly attributable to the underlying presence of liver and/or bone metastases. In the comparative study in advanced breast cancer patients, CTC grade 3 or 4 elevation of gamma glutamyl transferase without documented evidence of liver metastasis was reported in 2.7% of patients treated with AROMASIN and in 1.8% of patients treated with megestrol acetate.
In patients with early breast cancer, elevations in bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and creatinine were more common in those receiving exemestane than either tamoxifen or placebo. Treatment-emergent bilirubin elevations (any CTC grade) occurred in 5.3% of exemestane patients and 0.8% of tamoxifen patients on the Intergroup Exemestane Study (IES), and in 6.9% of exemestane treated patients vs. 0% of placebo treated patients in the 027 study. CTC grade 3–4 increases in bilirubin occurred in 0.9% of exemestane treated patients compared to 0.1% of tamoxifen treated patients. Alkaline phosphatase elevations of any CTC grade occurred in 15.0% of exemestane treated patients on the IES compared to 2.6% of tamoxifen treated patients, and in 13.7% of exemestane treated patients compared to 6.9% of placebo treated patients in study 027. Creatinine elevations occurred in 5.8% of exemestane treated patients and 4.3% of tamoxifen treated patients on the IES and in 5.5% of exemestane treated patients and 0% of placebo treated patients in study 027.
Use In Premenopausal Women
AROMASIN is not indicated for the treatment of breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Based on findings from animal studies and its mechanism of action, AROMASIN can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. In animal reproduction studies, administration of exemestane to pregnant rats and rabbits caused increased incidence of abortions and embryo-fetal toxicity. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with AROMASIN and for 1 month after the last dose [see Use In Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
Advise patients that AROMASIN lowers the level of estrogen in the body. This may lead to reduction in bone mineral density (BMD) over time. The lower the BMD, the greater the risk of osteoporosis and fracture [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Other Estrogen-Containing Agents
Advise patients that they should not take estrogen-containing agents while they are taking AROMASIN as these could interfere with its pharmacologic action [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Use In Premenopausal Women
Advise patients that AROMASIN is not for use for the treatment of breast cancer in premenopausal women [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential that exposure during pregnancy or within 1 month prior to conception can result in fetal harm. Advise females to inform their healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].
Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception while taking AROMASIN and for 1 month after the last dose [see Use In Specific Populations].
Advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with AROMASIN and for 1 month after the last dose [see Use In Specific Populations].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
A 2-year carcinogenicity study in mice at doses of 50, 150, and 450 mg/kg/day exemestane (gavage), resulted in an increased incidence of hepatocellular adenomas and/or carcinomas in both genders at the high dose level. Plasma AUC (0–24hr) at the high dose were 2575 ± 386 and 5667 ± 1833 ng.hr/mL in males and females (approx. 34 and 75 fold the AUC in postmenopausal patients at the recommended clinical dose). An increased incidence of renal tubular adenomas was observed in male mice at the high dose of 450 mg/kg/day. Since the doses tested in mice did not achieve an MTD, neoplastic findings in organs other than liver and kidneys remain unknown.
A separate carcinogenicity study was conducted in rats at the doses of 30, 100, and 315 mg/kg/day exemestane (gavage) for 92 weeks in males and 2 years in females. No evidence of carcinogenic activity up to the highest dose tested of 315 mg/kg/day was observed in females. The male rat study was inconclusive since it was terminated prematurely at Week 92. At the highest dose, plasma AUC (0–24hr) levels in male (1418 ± 287 ng.hr/mL) and female (2318 ± 1067 ng.hr/mL) rats were 19 and 31 fold higher than those measured in postmenopausal cancer patients receiving the recommended clinical dose.
Exemestane was not mutagenic in vitro in bacteria (Ames test) or mammalian cells (V79 Chinese hamster lung cells). Exemestane was clastogenic in human lymphocytes in vitro without metabolic activation but was not clastogenic in vivo (micronucleus assay in mouse bone marrow). Exemestane did not increase unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat hepatocytes when tested in vitro.
In a pilot reproductive study in rats, male rats were treated with doses of 125–1000 mg/kg/day exemestane, beginning 63 days prior to and during cohabitation. Untreated female rats showed reduced fertility when mated to males treated with ≥500 mg/kg/day exemestane (≥200 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis). In a separate study, exemestane was given to female rats at 4–100 mg/kg/day beginning 14 days prior to mating and through day 15 or 20 of gestation. Exemestane increased the placental weights at ≥4 mg/kg/day (≥1.5 times the human dose on a mg/m2 basis). Exemestane showed no effects on ovarian function, mating behavior, and conception rate in rats given doses up to 20 mg/kg/day (approximately 8 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis); however, decreases in mean litter size and fetal body weight, along with delayed ossification were evidenced at ≥20 mg/kg/day. In general toxicology studies, changes in the ovary, including hyperplasia, an increase in the incidence of ovarian cysts, and a decrease in corpora lutea were observed with variable frequency in mice, rats, and dogs at doses that ranged from 3–20 times the human dose on a mg/m2 basis.
Use In Specific Populations
Based on findings in animal studies and its mechanism of action, AROMASIN can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Limited human data from case reports are insufficient to inform a drug-associated risk. In animal reproduction studies, administration of exemestane to pregnant rats and rabbits caused increased incidence of abortions, embryo-fetal toxicity, and prolonged gestation with abnormal or difficult labor [see Data]. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the US general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.
In animal reproduction studies in rats and rabbits, exemestane caused embryo-fetal toxicity, and was abortifacient. Radioactivity related to 14C-exemestane crossed the placenta of rats following oral administration of 1 mg/kg exemestane. The concentration of exemestane and its metabolites was approximately equivalent in maternal and fetal blood. When rats were administered exemestane from 14 days prior to mating until either days 15 or 20 of gestation, and resuming for the 21 days of lactation, an increase in placental weight was seen at 4 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.5 times the recommended human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis). Increased resorptions, reduced number of live fetuses, decreased fetal weight, retarded ossification, prolonged gestation and abnormal or difficult labor was observed at doses equal to or greater than 20 mg/kg/day (approximately 7.5 times the recommended human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis). Daily doses of exemestane, given to rabbits during organogenesis, caused a decrease in placental weight at 90 mg/kg/day (approximately 70 times the recommended human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis) and in the presence of maternal toxicity, abortions, an increase in resorptions, and a reduction in fetal body weight were seen at 270 mg/kg/day. No malformations were noted when exemestane was administered to pregnant rats or rabbits during the organogenesis period at doses up to 810 and 270 mg/kg/day, respectively (approximately 320 and 210 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis, respectively).
There is no information on the presence of exemestane in human milk, or on its effects on the breastfed infant or milk production. Exemestane is present in rat milk at concentrations similar to maternal plasma [see Data]. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breast-fed infants from AROMASIN, advise a woman not to breastfeed during treatment with AROMASIN and for 1 month after the final dose.
Radioactivity related to exemestane appeared in rat milk within 15 minutes of oral administration of radiolabeled exemestane. Concentrations of exemestane and its metabolites were approximately equivalent in the milk and plasma of rats for 24 hours after a single oral dose of 1 mg/kg 14C-exemestane.
Females And Males Of Reproductive Potential
Pregnancy testing is recommended for females of reproductive potential within seven days prior to initiating AROMASIN.
AROMASIN can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Pregnancy]. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with AROMASIN and for 1 month after the final dose.
Based on findings in animals, male and female fertility may be impaired by treatment with AROMASIN [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
The AUC of exemestane was increased in subjects with moderate or severe hepatic impairment (Childs-Pugh B or C) [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. However, based on experience with exemestane at repeated doses up to 200 mg daily that demonstrated a moderate increase in non life-threatening adverse reactions, dosage adjustment does not appear to be necessary.
The AUC of exemestane was increased in subjects with moderate or severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <35 mL/min/1.73 m2) [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. However, based on experience with exemestane at repeated doses up to 200 mg daily that demonstrated a moderate increase in non life-threatening adverse reactions, dosage adjustment does not appear to be necessary.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/5/2016
Additional Aromasin Information
Aromasin - User Reviews
Aromasin User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Find support and advances in treatment.