University of Arizona Cancer Center to conduct study of letrozole in postmenopausal women at risk for breast cancer

University of Arizona Cancer Center to conduct study of letrozole in postmenopausal women at risk for breast cancer

The University of Arizona Cancer Center is currently conducting a study of a drug that may help prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at risk for developing breast cancer.

In this study, women will receive letrozole, a medication currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat certain breast cancers. This research is designed to find out if letrozole can also help prevent breast cancer. The principal investigator for the study is Ana Maria López, MD, MPH, FACP.

Research has shown that higher estrogen levels may increase the risk of breast cancer. Letrozole lowers estrogen levels and in that way decreases the chance a person has to develop breast cancer. The goal of this study is to find the dose that effectively drops estrogen levels while causing the least amount of side effects. Fewer side effects would make it easier to take medicine for a longer period of time.

Potential participants are women who are post-menopausal (menstrual cycles stopped for at least 12 months) and have higher than average risk for developing breast cancer; that is, have a particular risk factor for developing breast cancer. Some of these risk factors include: family history of breast cancer, diagnosis of pre-cancer breast changes such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), and use of post-menopausal hormone therapy. Although these factors may increase the chance for developing breast cancer, the majority of these factors will not cause women to develop breast cancer.

Approximately 112 women in total will participate in this multi-site study. Of these, 42 women will come from Tucson. Women interested in participating in the study can contact the Cancer Center at (520) 626-7383 or study coordinator Heidi Fritz at (520) 321-7740 for more information. Participants may receive compensation for their time and any costs they may incur.