Invasive lobular carcinoma: response to neoadjuvant letrozole therapy

J Michael Dixon, Lorna Renshaw, Jonathan Dixon, Jeremy Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Invasive lobular cancer (ILC) responds poorly to neoadjuvant chemotherapy but appears to respond well to endocrine therapy. We examined the effectiveness of neoadjuvant letrozole in postmenopausal women (PMW) with estrogen receptor (ER)-rich ILC. PMW were considered for treatment with neoadjuvant letrozole if they had ER-rich, large operable, or locally advanced cancers, or were unfit for surgical therapy. Tumor volume was estimated at diagnosis and at 3 months using calipers (clinical), ultrasound, and mammography. At 3 months, if physically fit, women were assessed for surgery. Responsive women with cancers too large for breast-conserving surgery continued with letrozole. Patients had surgery or were switched to alternative therapy if tumor volume was increasing. Sixty-one patients (mean age, 76.2 years) with 63 ILCs were treated with letrozole for ≥ 3 months. The mean reduction in tumor volume at 3 months was 66% (median, 76%) measured clinically, 61% (median, 73%) measured by ultrasound, and 54% (median, 60%) measured by mammography. Surgery was possible at 3 months in 24 cancers in 24 patients, and all but two of the remaining patients continued with letrozole therapy for a median duration of 9 months. At the time of this publication, 40 patients with a total of 41 cancers have undergone surgery. The rate of successful breast conservation was 81% (25/31). Twenty-one patients have continued with letrozole monotherapy, and 19 remain controlled on letrozole at a median of 2.8 years. There is a high rate of response to letrozole in PMW with ER-rich ILC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-7
Number of pages7
JournalBreast cancer research and treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Carcinoma, Lobular
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nitriles
  • Postmenopause
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triazoles


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