Prospective assessment of the endometrium in postmenopausal breast cancer patients treated with fulvestrant

  • Leilani Morales
  • Patrick Neven
  • Dirk Timmerman
  • Hans Wildiers
  • Maja L. Konstantinovic
  • Marie-Rose Christiaens
  • Peter N. Tan
  • Robert Paridaens
Clinical Trial


This prospective study assessed the endometrial effects of fulvestrant, a pure estrogen-receptor antagonist, in postmenopausal women with breast cancer. This single-center study enrolled postmenopausal patients who had an intact uterus at baseline with progressive metastatic breast cancer on tamoxifen followed by an oral aromatase inhibitor (AI). Fulvestrant (250 mg) was administered every 28 ± 3 days via IM injection. Transvaginal ultrasonography (TVUS) was performed at baseline and after 3 months of therapy. Primary and secondary endpoints were changes from baseline in double endometrial thickness (DET) and uterine volume (UV), respectively. No interventions were performed on any asymptomatic uterine abnormalities that were detected at baseline. In total, 32 women were enrolled. Five patients had no repeat TVUS because of early progression before 3 months, leaving 27 evaluable patients for final analysis. After 3 months therapy, mean DET had significantly decreased by 23.08% (P = 0.010). Mean UV also decreased by 10.88%, although this change was not significant (P = 0.119). After 3 months of therapy, none reported vaginal bleeding, there were no changes noted in most of the uterine pathologies present at baseline and no new uterine abnormalities were detected. We observed that 3 months of fulvestrant treatment resulted in a significant decrease in endometrial growth and a non-significant decrease in UV in postmenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer previously exposed to tamoxifen and AIs. Furthermore, no new uterine pathologies were detected, indicating that fulvestrant behaves as a pure antiestrogen at the uterine level.


Breast cancer Endometrium Fulvestrant Hormonal therapy Ultrasonography Uterus 



We thank all the physicians, trial nurses, pharmacists and secretaries who assisted us and most especially the patients who kindly agreed to participate in this study. This research was conducted with support from the Investigator-Sponsored Study Program of AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca kindly provided fulvestrant (Faslodex) for the study patients, but was not involved in the study design, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, in the writing of the manuscript nor in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. AstraZeneca provided an unrestricted grant which was used for a Ph.D. stipend (LM).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leilani Morales
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patrick Neven
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dirk Timmerman
    • 2
  • Hans Wildiers
    • 1
  • Maja L. Konstantinovic
    • 2
  • Marie-Rose Christiaens
    • 3
    • 4
  • Peter N. Tan
    • 5
  • Robert Paridaens
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyUniversity Hospital GasthuisbergLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity Hospital GasthuisbergLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Multidisciplinary Breast CenterUniversity Hospital GasthuisbergLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospital GasthuisbergLeuvenBelgium
  5. 5.Erasmus Mundus Master Programme, Faculty of MedicineKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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