Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 811–817 | Cite as

Comparison of the effects of aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen on radiation-induced lung toxicity: results of an experimental study

  • Guler YavasEmail author
  • Cagdas Yavas
  • Hilal Acar
  • Hatice Toy
  • Deniz Yuce
  • Ozlem Ata
Original Article



The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of anastrozole, letrozole and tamoxifen on radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis.


Eighty female Wistar albino rats were divided into eight groups. Group (G) 1 was defined as control group. G2 was radiation therapy (RT) only group. Groups 3, 4 and 5 were tamoxifen, anastrozole and letrozole control groups respectively. Groups 6, 7 and 8 were RT plus tamoxifen, anastrozole and letrozole groups, respectively. A single dose of 12 Gy RT was given to both lungs. Tamoxifen, anastrozole and letrozole were started 1 week before the RT and continued until the animals were sacrificed 16 weeks after the RT. As an end point, the extent of pulmonary fibrosis for each rat was quantified with image analysis of histological sections of the lung. Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney U tests were used for statistical analyses.


The congestion, inflammation and pulmonary fibrosis scores were significantly different between all the study groups (p values were <0.001 for each). When compared with RT only group, concomitant RT and tamoxifen group increased the radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis (p = 0.005). However, using either anastrozole or letrozole with RT did not increase the radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis (p values were 0.768 and 0.752, respectively).


Concomitant use of tamoxifen with RT seems to increase radiation-induced pulmonary toxicity. However, the use of both anastrozole and letrozole appears to be safe with concomitant RT, without increasing the risk of pulmonary fibrosis. This finding should be clarified with further clinical studies.


Anastrozole Letrozole Pulmonary toxicity Radiotherapy Tamoxifen 



Funding source

This work is supported by Selcuk University, Selcuklu Faculty of Medicine (SUSFM 12401036). There is no role of study sponsors in the study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guler Yavas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cagdas Yavas
    • 2
  • Hilal Acar
    • 1
  • Hatice Toy
    • 3
  • Deniz Yuce
    • 4
  • Ozlem Ata
    • 5
  1. 1.Selcuklu Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation OncologySelcuk UniversityKonyaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyKonya Training and Research HospitalKonyaTurkey
  3. 3.Meram Faculty of Medicine, Department of PathologySelcuk UniversityKonyaTurkey
  4. 4.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Preventive OncologyHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  5. 5.Selcuklu Medical Faculty, Department of Medical OncologySelcuk UniversityKonyaTurkey

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