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Femara (Letrozole) - Summary



Femara® (letrozole tablets) for oral administration contains 2.5 mg of letrozole, a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor (inhibitor of estrogen synthesis).

Femara® (letrozole tablets) is indicated for first-line treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive or hormone receptor unknown locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Femara is also indicated for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women with disease progression following antiestrogen therapy.

See all Femara indications & dosage >>


Media Articles Related to Femara (Letrozole)

Is There a Future for Axillary Surgery in Breast Cancer?
Source: Medscape General Surgery Headlines [2015.11.20]
Sentinel lymph node biopsy is performed in most breast cancer cases, but a pair of experts believe that it and other axillary surgery will cease to serve much of a purpose in the future.
Medscape Medical News

What Is Optimal Endocrine Therapy in Early Breast Cancer?
Source: Medscape Today Headlines [2015.11.16]
Dr Vivianne Tjan-Heijnen reviews evidence from TEXT, SOFT, and ATLAS to identify optimal hormonal strategies for young women with early breast cancer, as presented at an ECC educational session.
Medscape Oncology

New model helps predict breast cancer risk in Hispanic women
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2015.11.16]
The first breast cancer risk-prediction model based entirely on data from Hispanic women, including whether a woman was born in or outside of the United States, provided a more accurate assessment...

Breast Cancer: BRCA Genes and Your Risk
Source: MedicineNet Genetic Disease Specialty [2015.11.16]
Title: Breast Cancer: BRCA Genes and Your Risk
Category: eMedicineHealth Doctor's Perspective
Created: 1/24/2005 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/16/2015 12:00:00 AM

Blood test detects when hormone treatment for breast cancer stops working
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2015.11.12]
Scientists have developed a highly sensitive blood test that can spot when breast cancers become resistant to standard hormone treatment, and have demonstrated that this test could guide further...

more news >>

Published Studies Related to Femara (Letrozole)

Double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, randomized, phase IIb neoadjuvant study of letrozole-lapatinib in postmenopausal hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, operable breast cancer. [2014]
factor receptor 2 (HER2) -negative operable breast cancer... CONCLUSION: The combination of letrozole-lapatinib in early breast cancer was

Impact of premenopausal status at breast cancer diagnosis in women entered on the placebo-controlled NCIC CTG MA17 trial of extended adjuvant letrozole. [2013]
letrozole (LET) after completing 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen... CONCLUSIONS: Extended LET after 5 years of tamoxifen was effective in pre- and

Uptake of a randomized breast cancer prevention trial comparing letrozole to placebo in BRCA1/2 mutations carriers: the LIBER trial. [2012]
Women with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutations are considered as an extreme risk population for developing breast cancer. Prophylactic mastectomy provides a valid option to reduce such risk, impacting however, the quality of life.Women with previous unilateral breast cancer or prior prophylactic oophorectomy are more likely to enter a medical prevention trial.

Longer-term outcomes of letrozole versus placebo after 5 years of tamoxifen in the NCIC CTG MA.17 trial: analyses adjusting for treatment crossover. [2012]
crossed over to letrozole after being unblinded... CONCLUSION: Exploratory analyses based on longer follow-up and adjusting for

Extended high dose letrozole regimen versus short low dose letrozole regimen as an adjuvant to gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonist protocol in poor responders undergoing IVF-ET*. [2011.12]
Objective.?To compare the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of extended high dose letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonist (GnRHant) protocol with short low dose letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-GnRHant protocol in poor responders undergoing IVF-ET.Conclusion.?Extended letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-GnRHant protocol was more cost-effective than short letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-GnRHant protocol in poor responders undergoing IVF-ET.

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Femara (Letrozole)

RCT of Fixed vs Titrated Letrozole in Breast Cancer Patient Undergoing IVF [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to compare two different ways to administer Letrozole to determine their effectiveness in blocking estrogen production during ovarian stimulation in patients with breast cancer prior to chemotherapy/radiotherapy so that oocytes or embryos can be cryopreserved and patients can possibly achieve a pregnancy after the treatment of breast cancer. During standard ovulation stimulation, the estrogen levels will exceed normal levels and may reach 10 times the normal level for a 2 week period. This may not be desirable in breast cancer patients. The study hopes to determine if the investigators can stimulate oocyte development in the conventional way and administer different doses of Letrozole as the oocytes develop, to keep estradiol levels low, increase the number of oocytes the investigators are able to recover, and improve the quality of those oocytes.

Letrozole (Femara) Plus Imatinib Mesylate (Gleevec) for Breast Cancer Patients [Active, not recruiting]
The goal of this clinical research study is to learn if the combination of Femara (letrozole) and Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) can shrink or slow the growth of the tumor in patients who have hormonal sensitive advanced breast cancer. Primary Objectives:

- To determine the efficacy of Letrozole plus Imatinib Mesylate in patients with ER and

or PgR positive metastatic breast cancer. Efficacy will be measured by the rate of clinical tumor response.

- To determine the safety and tolerability of Letrozole plus Imatinib Mesylate in

patients with metastatic breast cancer.

- To determine the time to disease progression and overall survival in patients with

metastatic breast cancer who are treated with Letrozole plus Imatinib Mesylate.

Randomized Phase II Study of Preoperative Letrozole (Femara) in Combination With Avastin in Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the objective response rate of a combination of letrozole (Femara) and bevacizumab (Avastin) given preoperatively to postmenopausal patients with hormone sensitive breast cancer.

Everolimus, Letrozole and Trastuzumab in HR- and HER2/Neu-positive Patients [Recruiting]
The goal of this clinical research study is to find the highest tolerable dose of Femara (letrozole) that can be given in combination with Afinitor (everolimus) and Herceptin (trastuzumab) to patients with advanced cancer. The safety of this drug combination will also be studied.

Safety and Rheumatologic Tolerability of Letrozole in Postmenopausal Patients With Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer [Completed]
The purpose of this study is to assess rheumatologic tolerability of letrozole in postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor positive breast cancer having discontinued anastrozole adjuvant treatment due to musculoskeletal disorders.

more trials >>

Reports of Suspected Femara (Letrozole) Side Effects

Arthralgia (52)Death (41)Neoplasm Malignant (39)Myalgia (26)Fatigue (26)Pain (25)Bone Pain (23)Headache (21)Dizziness (21)Neoplasm Progression (20)more >>


Based on a total of 2 ratings/reviews, Femara has an overall score of 5. The effectiveness score is 8 and the side effect score is 6. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst.

Femara review by 56 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   Moderate Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   Breast Cancer
Dosage & duration:   2.5 mg. taken daily for the period of over 2.5 years (so far)
Other conditions:   None
Other drugs taken:   None
Reported Results
Benefits:   Since the tumor was estogen receptor positive, the treatment has resulted in any remaining canncer cells to be in remision. The side effects were mild enough that regular activities were not interfered with for the most part. It was a better alternative for me than Taxol chemotherapy which had severe side-effects for me.
Side effects:   Hastened loss of estrogen which hastened loss of sex drive (after menopause). Some temporary (fortuantely) arthritic conditions in a finger and thumb. Hastened osteoporosis. That is my bone desity decreased severely after 2 1/2 years.
Comments:   I take one tiny pill each morning with the vitamins that I take. There is no nausea or other immediate symptoms. It is simple to do.


Femara review by 54 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Moderately Effective
Side effects:   Moderate Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   breast cancer
Dosage & duration:   2.5 mg taken daily for the period of 2 years
Other conditions:   osteopenia, depression
Other drugs taken:   Effexor XR
Reported Results
Benefits:   Aromatase inhibitor to reduce recurence of hormone-positive breast cancer- unknown effectiveness- no breast cancer 3 years after diagnosis
Side effects:   Joint pain, reduction of bone mass
Comments:   The first drug I was prescribed after a mastectomy and chemotherapy was Tamoxifen, which I took for almost 1 year. My oncologist said it increased bone mass, so she wanted to use that first to counteract the bone mass-decreasing side effect of the aromatase inhibitors. Their protocol is to use Tamoxifen for 2 years, then switch to an aromatase inhibitor for 3 years. However, I had some uterine bleeding ( I am post-menopausal) so they switched to Femara early. Tamoxifen may cause an increase in uterine cancer, which my grandmother had. The most annoying side effect of Femara is the increase in joint pain. NSAIDs and glucosamine help somewhat but have their own side effects. That said, I am willing to continue Femara for the next 2 years to help prevent cancer reccurence. I read in the literature (Medscape) that 51% of women do not complete their 5 yrs of either drug, and my guess is because of side effects. I take supplemental calcium also to slow the bone loss.

See all Femara reviews / ratings >>

Page last updated: 2015-11-20

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