Pfizer Inc.'s Breast-Cancer Drug Worsens Bone Loss in Older Women

Published: Feb 08, 2012

Pfizer Inc.’s breast-cancer drug Aromasin worsened bone loss in post-menopausal women, raising the chance of fractures and calling into question whether the pill’s prevention benefits outweigh its risks. In a trial among 351 women at risk of developing breast cancer, those who received Aromasin lost about three times more bone-mineral density after two years than those who took a placebo, researchers led by Angela Cheung at Toronto’s University Health Network wrote today in The Lancet Oncology. The result contradicts earlier studies that suggested Aromasin, also known as exemestane, may help stimulate bone growth. It may also cause doctors and patients to question whether the cancer-preventing benefits associated with the drug outweigh the risks in healthy women, said Jane Cauley, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

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