Does obesity interfere with anastrozole treatment? Positive association between body mass index and anastrozole plasma levels

INTRODUCTION: The efficacy of adjuvant endocrine treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AIs), inhibiting the conversion of androgens to estrogen in adipose tissue, might depend on the overall volume of adipose tissue. However, little evidence is available regarding the pharmacokinetic behavior of AIs in women with obesity. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between body mass index (BMI) and anastrozole treatment as well as estrogenic activity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 216 postmenopausal patients with early-stage breast cancer who were receiving AI treatment with anastrozole constituted the final sample included in the analysis. During a regular 3-month after-care check-up, sociodemographic and clinical data and BMI were assessed. Blood samples were collected during routine blood testing. Measurement of AI plasma levels was performed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol were measured within the routine blood examination. RESULTS: A median anastrozole plasma concentration of 34.7 ng/mL (mean, 37.4), with a large interindividual variability, was observed (SD, 15.1; range, 5.4-86.5). After age adjustment, it was found that anastrozole plasma concentrations significantly increased with BMI (r = 0.241; P = .001). Anastrozole serum concentrations in women with obesity (BMI >/= 30) exceeded those of women with normal weight (BMI </= 25) by 25%. Women with excess weight had lower mean FSH levels, indicating higher estrogenic activity, compared with women with normal weight. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that BMI is a vital factor in anastrozole metabolism, as measured by anastrozole plasma concentration and FSH levels. Further research is mandatory to clarify results on the association of obesity and AI treatment efficacy to allow adapting AI treatment accordingly.
Clin Breast Cancer 2014 14:291-6
PubMed: 24468298
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