, Volume 111, Issue 2, pp 377-388
Date: 20 Oct 2007

Pharmacokinetics and tolerability of exemestane in combination with raloxifene in postmenopausal women with a history of breast cancer

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Abstract

Purpose: Raloxifene is a second-generation selective estrogen receptor modulator that reduces the incidence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Exemestane, a steroidal aromatase inhibitor, decreases contralateral new breast cancers in postmenopausal women when taken in the adjuvant setting. Preclinical evidence suggests a rationale for coadministration of these agents to achieve complete estrogen blockade. Experimental design: We tested the safety and tolerability of combination exemestane and raloxifene in 11 postmenopausal women with a history of hormone receptor-negative breast cancer. Patients were randomized to either raloxifene (60 mg PO daily) or exemestane (25 mg PO daily) for 2 weeks. Patients then initiated combination therapy at the same dose levels for a minimum of 1 year. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data for plasma estrogens, raloxifene, exemestane, and their metabolites were collected at the end of single-agent therapy and during combination therapy. Results: Plasma concentration–time profiles for each drug were unchanged with monotherapy versus combination therapy. Raloxifene did not affect plasma estrogen levels. Plasma estrogen concentrations were suppressed below the lower limit of detection by exemestane as monotherapy and when administered in combination with raloxifene. The most common adverse events of any grade included arthralgias, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and myalgias. Conclusions: In this small study, coadministration of raloxifene and exemestane did not affect the pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of either agent to a significant degree in postmenopausal women. The combination of estrogen receptor blockade and suppression of estrogen synthesis is well tolerated and warrants further investigation.