ArticleApplicability of the Intratumor Aromatase Preclinical Model to Predict Clinical Trial Results With Endocrine TherapyBrodie, Angela H., Ph.D.; Mouridsen, Henning T., M.D., M.Sci.Author Information From the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. (A.H.B.), and Department of Oncology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark (H.T.M.). Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Angela H. Brodie, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. American Journal of Clinical Oncology: August 2003 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p S17-S26 Buy Abstract Preclinical models and clinical studies have shown that aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are powerful inhibitors of estrogen synthesis and significantly suppress estrogen in vivo. For more than 20 years, standard first-line treatment for postmenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer has been the antiestrogen tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) with differential effects on breast, endometrial, bone, and vascular tissues. The estrogenic activity of tamoxifen is associated with deleterious clinical side effects, including vaginal bleeding, endometrial cancer, and thromboembolism. AIs are established second-line treatments in patients who progress with tamoxifen. Compared with progestins, such as megestrol acetate, or the earlier AIs aminoglutethimide and fadrozole, the new AIs, including exemestane, anastrozole, and letrozole, have increased efficacy and clinical benefit and cause fewer side effects in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Letrozole and anastrozole are approved first-line therapy for patients with metastatic breast cancer and as second-line treatment after tamoxifen failure. Studies in the intratumoral aromatase xenograft preclinical model have shown better responses with AIs than with antiestrogens in first-line therapy, and these data are consistent with the results from clinical trials. This model is now being used to assess whether combined or sequential administration of AIs with other agents may provide additional benefit. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.