News Release

February 19, 2008

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

Study Looking at Early Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment on Bone Health

UConn Researcher looking for women who are considering treatment with Aromatase Inhibitors

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Studies show that aromatase inhibitors, including medications such as anastrozole (Arimidex) and letrozole (Femara) are winners in the fight against breast cancer. However, there is also evidence that these drugs increase a woman’s risk of bone loss and fractures. But when do these powerhouse medications start to affect bone health? Osteoporosis expert Pamela Taxel, M.D., of the University of Connecticut Health Center and the New England Musculoskeletal Institute is trying to answer that question.

Dr. Taxel encourages women who are considering taking aromatase inhibitors to participate in a free study looking at the early effects of the medication on bone health. Study participants will receive free bone health monitoring for one year. They will also receive counseling from Dr. Taxel on ways to improve their bone health through measures such as exercise, improved nutrition, supplements and medications.

“Aromatase inhibitors work by lowering estrogen levels and have been shown to be very effective in treating hormone-sensitive breast cancer. However, this can also lead to an increased risk of bone loss, osteoporosis and painful bone fractures,” Dr. Taxel said.

“We want to understand when the bone loss begins and which women are at greatest risk of early bone loss. That is why it’s important to follow women as they start their regime with aromatase inhibitors,” she added.

The study is being conducted at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. To learn more, call Dr. Taxel at 860-679-4743.

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