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Journal ArticleDOI

Fulvestrant ('Faslodex')--a new treatment option for patients progressing on prior endocrine therapy.

C Morris1, A Wakeling
01 Dec 2002-Endocrine-related Cancer (BioScientifica)-Vol. 9, Iss: 4, pp 267-276

TL;DR: Fulvestrant has recently gained US Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women with disease progression following antiestrogen therapy and these new hormonal treatments expand the choice of endocrine therapy for women with advanced breast cancer.

AbstractSince its introduction more than 30 years ago, tamoxifen has been the most widely used endocrine therapy for the treatment of women with advanced breast cancer. More recently, a number of alternative endocrine treatments have been developed, including several selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and, most recently, fulvestrant ('Faslodex'). Fulvestrant is an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist, which, unlike the SERMs, has no known agonist (estrogenic) effect and downregulates the ER protein. Tamoxifen is effective and well tolerated, although the non-steroidal AIs, anastrozole and letrozole, are more effective treatments for advanced disease than tamoxifen. Fulvestrant has recently gained US Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women with disease progression following antiestrogen therapy. In two global phase III clinical trials fulvestrant was at least as effective and as equally well tolerated as anastrozole for the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced and metastatic breast cancer. In a retrospective analysis of the combined data from these trials, mean duration of response was significantly greater for fulvestrant compared with anastrozole. These new hormonal treatments expand the choice of endocrine therapy for women with advanced breast cancer and offer new options for sequencing and combining treatments.

Topics: Fulvestrant (72%), Anastrozole (62%), Tamoxifen (59%), Letrozole (55%), Estrogen receptor (53%)

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib significantly delayed the emergence of resistance to both estrogen deprivation and fulvestrant, but reactivation of HER-2/neu and signaling through AKT leads to tumor regrowth.
Abstract: HER-2/neu in breast cancer is associated with tamoxifen resistance, but little data exist on its interaction with estrogen deprivation or fulvestrant. Here, we used an in vivo xenograft model of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer with HER-2/neu overexpression (MCF7/HER-2/neu-18) to investigate mechanisms of growth inhibition and treatment resistance. MCF7/HER-2/neu-18 tumors were growth inhibited by estrogen deprivation and with fulvestrant, but resistance developed in 2 to 3 months. Inhibited tumors had reductions in ER, insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR), phosphorylated HER-2/neu (p-HER-2/neu), and phosphorylated p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p-MAPK). p27 was increased especially in tumors sensitive to estrogen deprivation. Tumors with acquired resistance to these therapies had complete loss of ER, increased p-HER-2/neu, increased p-MAPK, and reduced p27. In contrast, IGF-IR and phosphorylated AKT (p-AKT) levels were markedly reduced in these resistant tumors. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib, which can block EGFR/HER-2/neu signaling, significantly delayed the emergence of resistance to both estrogen deprivation and fulvestrant. Levels of p-MAPK and p-AKT decreased with gefitinib, whereas high ER levels were restored. Eventually, however, tumors progressed in mice treated with gefitinib combined with estrogen deprivation or fulvestrant accompanied again by loss of ER and IGF-IR, increased p-HER-2/neu, high p-MAPK, and now increased p-AKT. Thus, estrogen deprivation and fulvestrant can effectively inhibit HER-2/neu-overexpressing tumors but resistance develops quickly. EGFR/HER-2/neu inhibitors can delay resistance, but reactivation of HER-2/neu and signaling through AKT leads to tumor regrowth. Combining endocrine therapy with EGFR/HER-2/neu inhibitors should be tested in clinical breast cancer, but a more complete blockade of EGFR/HER-2/neu may be optimal.

155 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Compelling experimental and clinical evidence suggest that the epidermal growth factor/her2/neu receptor (EGFR/HER2) pathway might play a distinct role in endocrine resistance, and especially in resistance to selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as tamoxifen.
Abstract: Estrogen receptor (ER), mediating estrogen-signaling stimuli, is a dominant regulator and a key therapeutic target in breast cancer etiology and progression. Endocrine therapy, blocking the ER pathway, is one of the most important systemic therapies in breast cancer management, but de novo and acquired resistance is still a major clinical problem. New research highlights the role of both genomic and nongenomic ER activities and their intimate molecular crosstalk with growth factor receptor and other signaling kinase pathways in endocrine resistance. These signaling pathways, when overexpressed and/or hyperactivated, can modulate both activities of ER, resulting in endocrine resistance. Thus, these signal transduction receptors and signaling molecules may serve as both predictive markers and novel therapeutic targets to circumvent endocrine resistance. Compelling experimental and clinical evidence suggest that the epidermal growth factor/HER2/neu receptor (EGFR/HER2) pathway might play a distinct role in endocrine resistance, and especially in resistance to selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as tamoxifen. Results from preclinical studies of treatment combinations with various endocrine therapy drugs together with several potent anti-EGFR/HER2 inhibitors are very promising, and clinical trials to see whether this new strategy is effective in patients are now ongoing.

143 citations


Cites background from "Fulvestrant ('Faslodex')--a new tre..."

  • ...estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as arzoxifene, with more favorable tissue-specific ER effects than tamoxifen [59], as well as selective ER downregulators (SERDs) such as the potent antiestrogen fulvestrant (Faslodex, ICI 182,780), which target and degrade the ER [60, 71], are already in clinical use or at the final stages of clinical development....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The discovery of an orally bioavailable selective estrogen receptor downregulator (SERD) with equivalent potency and preclinical pharmacology to the intramuscular SERD fulvestrant is described.
Abstract: The discovery of an orally bioavailable selective estrogen receptor downregulator (SERD) with equivalent potency and preclinical pharmacology to the intramuscular SERD fulvestrant is described. A directed screen identified the 1-aryl-2,3,4,9-tetrahydro-1H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole motif as a novel, druglike ER ligand. Aided by crystal structures of novel ligands bound to an ER construct, medicinal chemistry iterations led to (E)-3-(3,5-difluoro-4-((1R,3R)-2-(2-fluoro-2-methylpropyl)-3-methyl-2,3,4,9-tetrahydro-1H-pyrido[3,4-b]indol-1-yl)phenyl)acrylic acid (30b, AZD9496), a clinical candidate with high oral bioavailability across preclinical species that is currently being evaluated in phase I clinical trials for the treatment of advanced estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer.

116 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The molecular mechanisms through which ER activates transcription of target genes and through which available anti-estrogens mediate their therapeutic effects are reviewed.
Abstract: Evidence for a role of ovarian factors in the growth of metastatic breast cancer was first recognized over 100 years ago. Today, anti-estrogens are central to the treatment of breast cancer of all stages. We now understand that the action of estrogen is mediated by the estrogen receptors (ER) which are members of the nuclear receptor family of ligand-regulated transcription factors. In this article we review the molecular mechanisms through which ER activates transcription of target genes and through which available anti-estrogens mediate their therapeutic effects. We discuss possible mechanisms of failure of treatment with current anti-estrogens and how newer anti-estrogens under development attempt to address these problems. In addition an expanded view of the molecular mechanisms of estrogen action is leading to the development of novel selective ER modulators or SERMs.

98 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
19 Nov 2009-Oncogene
TL;DR: A crucial role for p72 is highlighted in ERα co-activation and oestrogen-dependent cell growth and evidence in support of distinct but important roles for both p68 and p72 in regulating ERα activity in breast cancer is provided.
Abstract: The DEAD-box RNA helicases p68 (DDX5) and p72 (DDX17) have been shown to act as transcriptional co-activators for a diverse range of transcription factors, including oestrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha). Here, we show that, although both proteins interact with and co-activate ERalpha in reporter gene assays, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of p72, but not p68, results in a significant inhibition of oestrogen-dependent transcription of endogenous ERalpha-responsive genes and oestrogen-dependent growth of MCF-7 and ZR75-1 breast cancer cells. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining of ERalpha-positive primary breast cancers for p68 and p72 indicate that p72 expression is associated with an increased period of relapse-free and overall survival (P=0.006 and 0.016, respectively), as well as being inversely associated with Her2 expression (P=0.008). Conversely, p68 shows no association with relapse-free period, or overall survival, but it is associated with an increased expression of Her2 (P=0.001), AIB-1 (P<0.001) and higher tumour grade (P=0.044). Our data thus highlight a crucial role for p72 in ERalpha co-activation and oestrogen-dependent cell growth and provide evidence in support of distinct but important roles for both p68 and p72 in regulating ERalpha activity in breast cancer.

91 citations


Cites background from "Fulvestrant ('Faslodex')--a new tre..."

  • ...These tumours often remain ERa positive and may respond to an alternative endocrine agent, showing ERa-dependence for the continued growth of these tumours (Buzdar and Howell, 2001; Morris and Wakeling, 2002), and indicating altered ERa function as a possible mechanism underlying treatment failure....

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  • ...…tumours often remain ERα positive and may respond to an alternative endocrine agent, demonstrating ERα-dependence for the continued growth of these tumours (Buzdar and Howell, 2001; Morris and Wakeling, 2002), and indicating altered ERα function as a possible mechanism underlying treatment failure....

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The FACT-G meets or exceeds all requirements for use in oncology clinical trials, including ease of administration, brevity, reliability, validity, and responsiveness to clinical change.
Abstract: PURPOSEWe developed and validated a brief, yet sensitive, 33-item general cancer quality-of-life (QL) measure for evaluating patients receiving cancer treatment, called the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT) scale.METHODS AND RESULTSThe five-phase validation process involved 854 patients with cancer and 15 oncology specialists. The initial pool of 370 overlapping items for breast, lung, and colorectal cancer was generated by open-ended interview with patients experienced with the symptoms of cancer and oncology professionals. Using preselected criteria, items were reduced to a 38-item general version. Factor and scaling analyses of these 38 items on 545 patients with mixed cancer diagnoses resulted in the 28-item FACT-general (FACT-G, version 2). In addition to a total score, this version produces subscale scores for physical, functional, social, and emotional well-being, as well as satisfaction with the treatment relationship. Coefficients of reliability and validity were uniformly high. The ...

4,747 citations


"Fulvestrant ('Faslodex')--a new tre..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Breast (FACT-B) questionnaire (Cella et al. 1993) is a sensitive measure for evaluating physical, functional, social and emotional well-being of the patient....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Anastrozole is an effective and well tolerated endocrine option for the treatment of postmenopausal patients with hormone-sensitive early breast cancer and longer follow-up is required before a final benefit:risk assessment can be made.
Abstract: BACKGROUND In the adjuvant setting, tamoxifen is the established treatment for postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer. However, it is associated with several side-effects including endometrial cancer and thromboembolic disorders. We aimed to compare the safety and efficacy outcomes of tamoxifen with those of anastrozole alone and the combination of anastrozole plus tamoxifen for 5 years. METHODS Participants were postmenopausal patients with invasive operable breast cancer who had completed primary therapy and were eligible to receive adjuvant hormonal therapy. The primary endpoints were disease-free survival and occurrence of adverse events. Analysis for efficacy was by intention to treat. FINDINGS 9366 patients were recruited, of whom 3125 were randomly assigned anastrozole, 3116 tamoxifen, and 3125 combination. Median follow-up was 33.3 months. 7839 (84%) patients were known to be hormone-receptor-positive. Disease-free survival at 3 years was 89.4% on anastrozole and 87.4% on tamoxifen (hazard ratio 0.83 [95% CI 0.71-0.96], p=0.013). Results with the combination were not significantly different from those with tamoxifen alone (87.2%, 1.02 [0.89-1.18], p=0.8). The improvement in disease-free survival with anastrozole was seen in the subgroup of hormone-receptor-positive patients, but not the receptor-negative patients. Incidence of contralateral breast cancer was significantly lower with anastrozole than with tamoxifen (odds ratio 0.42 [0.22-0.79], p=0.007). Anastrozole was significantly better tolerated than tamoxifen with respect to endometrial cancer (p=0.02), vaginal bleeding and discharge (p<0.0001 for both), cerebrovascular events (p=0.0006), venous thromboembolic events (p=0.0006), and hot flushes (p<0.0001). Tamoxifen was significantly better tolerated than anastrozole with respect to musculoskeletal disorders and fractures (p<0.0001 for both). INTERPRETATION Anastrozole is an effective and well tolerated endocrine option for the treatment of postmenopausal patients with hormone-sensitive early breast cancer. Longer follow-up is required before a final benefit:risk assessment can be made.

1,859 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The properties of ICI 182,780 identify this pure antiestrogen as a prime candidate with which to evaluate the potential therapeutic benefits of complete estrogen withdrawal in endocrine-responsive human breast cancer.
Abstract: Previous studies from this laboratory have described a series of 7 alpha-alkylamide analogues of estradiol with pure antiestrogenic activity, exemplified by ICI 164,384. A new compound, 7 alpha-[9-(4,4,5,5,5-pentafluoropentylsulfinyl)nonyl]estra-1,3,5(10 )- triene-3,17 beta-diol (ICI 182,780) has now been identified which has significantly increased antiestrogenic potency and retains pure estrogen antagonist activity. The antiuterotrophic potency of ICI 182,780 in the immature rat was more than 10-fold greater than that of ICI 164,384 (50% effective doses of 0.06 and 0.9 mg/kg, respectively). This order of magnitude increase of in vivo potency was also reflected, in part, by intrinsic activity at the estrogen receptor. The relative binding affinities of ICI 182,780 and ICI 164,384 were 0.89 and 0.19, respectively, compared with that of estradiol (1.0). Similarly, the in vitro growth-inhibitory potency of ICI 182,780 exceeded that of ICI 164,384 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, where 50% inhibitory concentrations of 0.29 and 1.3 nM, respectively, were recorded. ICI 182,780 was a more effective inhibitor of MCF-7 growth than 4'-hydroxytamoxifen, producing an 80% reduction of cell number under conditions where 4'-hydroxytamoxifen achieved a maximum of 50% inhibition. This increased efficacy was reflected by a greater reduction of the proportion of cells engaged in DNA synthesis in ICI 182,780-treated cell cultures compared with tamoxifen-treated cells. Sustained antiestrogenic effects, following a single parenteral dose of ICI 182,780 in oil suspension, were apparent in both rats and pigtail monkeys. In vivo, antitumor activity of ICI 182,780 was demonstrated with xenografts of MCF-7 and Br10 human breast cancers in nude mice. A single injection of ICI 182,780 provided antitumor efficacy equivalent to that of daily tamoxifen treatment for at least 4 weeks. The properties of ICI 182,780 identify this pure antiestrogen as a prime candidate with which to evaluate the potential therapeutic benefits of complete estrogen withdrawal in endocrine-responsive human breast cancer.

1,145 citations


"Fulvestrant ('Faslodex')--a new tre..." refers background in this paper

  • ...In pigtailed monkeys, sustained antiestrogenic effects were apparent following a single parenteral dose of fulvestrant (Wakeling et al. 1991)....

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  • ...Like tamoxifen, fulvestrant competitively binds to the ER but with a much greater affinity than tamoxifen – approximately 89% that of estradiol, compared with 2.5% for tamoxifen (Wakeling & Bowler 1987, Wakeling et al. 1991)....

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  • ...Further observations from this study showed that the oral antiuterotropic activity of fulvestrant was one order of magnitude less than its parenteral potency (Wakeling et al. 1991)....

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  • ...Similar reductions of tumor growth were seen in the Br10 human tumor model (Wakeling et al. 1991)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Risk of endometrial cancer increases following tamoxifen therapy for invasive breast cancer; however, net benefit greatly outweighs risk, and tamoxIFen treatment for breast cancer should continue.
Abstract: BACKGROUND Tamoxifen is advantageous in treating all stages of breast cancer. However, studies have suggested that incidence and severity of endometrial cancer increase in women treated with tamoxifen. PURPOSE We compared rates of endometrial and other cancers in tamoxifen- and non-tamoxifen-treated patients and described the pathologic characteristics of the endometrial cancers. METHODS Data were analyzed on 2843 patients with node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive, invasive breast cancer randomly assigned to placebo or tamoxifen (20 mg/d) and on 1220 tamoxifen-treated patients registered in NSABP B-14 subsequent to randomization. Average time on study is 8 years for randomly assigned patients and 5 years for registered patients. RESULTS The incidence rates of liver, gastrointestinal, urinary tract, and nonuterine genital tumors were not increased by tamoxifen treatment. Twenty-five endometrial cancers were originally reported, one of which was reclassified after subsequent review. Two cases occurred in the placebo group in patients whose medical status subsequent to random assignment had required tamoxifen treatment. Twenty-three occurred in the tamoxifen groups. Twenty-one of the 24 originally reported endometrial cancers were FIGO stage 1; 18 of 23 gradable cases were of good to moderate histologic grade. Four tamoxifen-treated women died of uterine cancer. The average annual hazard rate of endometrial cancer as a first event within the first 5 years of follow-up in the randomized, tamoxifen-treated group was 1.2/1000 patient-years; the cumulative hazard rate was 6.3/1000. Findings for the registered, tamoxifen-treated group were similar. Including all originally reported endometrial cancers, the annual hazard rate through all follow-up was 0.2/1000 in the placebo group and 1.6/1000 in the randomized, tamoxifen-treated group; the relative risk of endometrial cancer for the latter versus the former group was 7.5. Again for the latter group, using population-based rates of endometrial cancer from SEER data and information from another NSABP (B-06) trial, relative risks were 2.2 and 2.3, respectively. The 5-year cumulative hazard rate for disease-free survival in the randomized tamoxifen group was 38% less than that in the placebo group. Some data in this paper were provided by an investigator who submitted fraudulent data to the NSABP [see the "News" section]; therefore, the reader must read the entire text including Table 10 and the Editor's notes. In brief, data on 182 of the 2843 randomly assigned patients and 37 of the 1220 registered patients were provided by the investigator in question. After review, 24 of the 182 records showed falsification, all involving characteristics of patients prior to random assignment. Of the 37 registered-patient records, 8 showed falsification. CONCLUSIONS Risk of endometrial cancer increases following tamoxifen therapy for invasive breast cancer; however, net benefit greatly outweighs risk. Endometrial cancers occurring after tamoxifen therapy do not appear to be of a different type with a worse prognosis than are such tumors in non-tamoxifen-treated patients. IMPLICATIONS Tamoxifen treatment for breast cancer should continue. In addition, the relative risk of endometrial cancer observed in B-14 tamoxifen-treated patients is consistent with the twofold relative risk used in the initial risk-benefit computation for the NSABP breast cancer prevention trial.

1,123 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Letrozole was significantly superior to tamoxifen in TTP, TTF, ORR, and clinical benefit rate, and its results support its use as first-line endocrine therapy in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer.
Abstract: PURPOSE: To compare the efficacy and tolerability of tamoxifen with that of letrozole, an oral aromatase inhibitor, with tamoxifen as first-line therapy in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Nine hundred seven patients were randomly assigned letrozole 2.5 mg once daily (453 patients) or tamoxifen 20 mg once daily (454 patients). Patients had estrogen receptor– and/or progesterone receptor–positive tumors, or both receptors were unknown. Recurrence during adjuvant antiestrogen therapy or within the following 12 months or prior endocrine therapy for advanced disease precluded enrollment. One prior chemotherapy regimen for metastatic disease was allowed. The primary end point was time to progression (TTP). Secondary end points included overall objective response rate (ORR), its duration, rate and duration of clinical benefit, time to treatment failure (TTF), overall survival, and tolerability. RESULTS: TTP was significantly longer for letrozole than for tamoxifen (median,...

981 citations


"Fulvestrant ('Faslodex')--a new tre..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Both the third-generation, non-steroidal AIs, anastrozole (‘Arimidex’) and letrozole, have efficacy advantages over tamoxifen in postmenopausal patients as first-line therapy (Bonneterre et al. 2000, Nabholtz et al. 2000, Mouridsen et al. 2001)....

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