Anastrozole is a drug indicated in the treatment of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. It is used both in adjuvant therapy (i.e. following surgery) and in metastatic breast cancer.
Many breast cancers also contain aromatase; the importance of tumor-generated estrogens is uncertain. Treatment of breast cancer has included efforts to decrease estrogen levels by ovariectomy premenopausally and by use of anti-estrogens and progestational agents both pre- and post-menopausally, and these interventions lead to decreased tumor mass or delayed progression of tumor growth in some women. Anastrozole is a potent and selective non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor. It significantly lowers serum estradiol concentrations and has no detectable effect on formation of adrenal corticosteroids or aldosterone.
Three azole aromatase inhibitors are potent selective, it can inhibit the cytochrome P-450 dependent aromatase thereby blocking the biosynthesis of estrogen, but estrogen is the main factor that stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells.
The treatment of breast cancer, especially for those with adjuvant hormone therapy after menopause after recurrence of women with advanced breast cancer.
Anastrozole is more effective than previous drugs such as tamoxifen and crucially, it has fewer side effects . Anastrozole has been tested for reducing estrogens, including estradiol, in men.
Some athletes and body builders use anastrozole as part of their steroid cycle to reduce and prevent symptoms of excess estrogen–gynecomastia, emotional lability and water retention.
Bone weakness has been associated with anastrozole.