Results of a national clinical trial show that preoperative treatment with aromatase inhibitors increases the likelihood that postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer will be able to have breast-conserving surgery rather than a mastectomy. John A. Olson, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., who is co-principal investigator of the Phase II trial, presented the results at a plenary session at the Society of Surgical Oncology national meeting in Orlando, Fla. on March 23, 2012. Dr. Olson is professor and vice chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of general and oncologic surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
Aromatase inhibitors, which stop the production of estrogen that fuels the growth of cancer cells, are widely used to treat postmenopausal women with hormone-responsive breast cancer. A University of Maryland scientist, Angela H. Brodie, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, pioneered the development of these drugs, which also have shown promise in helping to prevent breast cancer in high-risk patients.
In this brief video, Dr. Olson explains the significance of the study and its implications for women facing surgery for breast cancer.