The medicine is an aromatase inhibitor. This means that the medicine inhibits certain enzymes in the body called aromatases. These enzymes are involved in the production of certain female sex hormones in the body, such as oestrogen. By inhibiting these enzymes, the medicine causes a decrease in the amount of oestrogen in the body.
The medicine is indicated for the treatment of breast cancer in women whose tumour growth is dependent on certain female sex hormones (oestrogens) (and whose tumour is therefore called oestrogen receptor positive).
The medicine is used in the following ways:
Concomitant (adjuvant) treatment of primary breast cancer in women who no longer have menstrual periods (after menopause).
Extended adjuvant treatment of primary breast cancer in women who no longer have menstrual periods (after menopause) and who have previously received standard adjuvant treatment with tamoxifen (another breast cancer drug) for 5 years.
Initial treatment of advanced breast cancer in women who have stopped menstruating (after menopause).
Treatment of advanced breast cancer after it has recurred or continued to grow in women who no longer have menstrual periods (post-menopausal) or in whom this condition has been artificially induced by treatment (postmenopausal status) and who have previously been treated with another medicine that suppresses the effect of certain female sex hormones (oestrogens) on tumour growth (a so-called antiestrogen).
In patients in whom tumour growth does not depend on certain female sex hormones (oestrogens) (and whose tumour is therefore called oestrogen receptor-negative), the efficacy of the medicinal product has not been proven.