Aromatase inhibitors are drugs that work by binding to the body’s aromastase enzyme, which is responsible for producing estrogen. Many breast cancer cells depend on estrogen to grow and multiply quickly. Once the aromatase inhibitor binds to the aromastase enzyme, the bound aromatase enzyme can no longer produce estrogen. This drug-caused lack of estrogen “starves” estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells, preventing them from multiplying.
Several aromatase inhibitors are used to help treat advanced breast cancer including:
Aromasin (generic name, exemestane)
Fermara (generic name, letrozole)
Arimidex (generic name, anastrozole)
Megace (generic name, megestrol)