Forty-five women with far-advanced metastatic breast cancer were treated with a combination of aminoglutethimide (AG), 1000 mg p.o. daily, and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), 1500 mg p.o. daily. Of 41 patients evaluable for treatment response, there were two complete responses, five partial remissions, 26 patients with minor tumor responses or no change, and eight nonresponders. Major side effects included those known for AG and MPA, i.e., impairment of mental functions, depressive syndromes, fatigue, ataxia, skin rash, changes in body weight, and transient increase of λ-glutamyltransferase. Most side effects disappeared spontaneously after 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. Plasma hormone measurements in 28 patients revealed no impairment of adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol levels. In conclusion, in the AG combination, it is feasible and safe to replace cortisol by MPA. Treatment results warrant further investigation of AG-MPA in patients with breast cancer of a more favorable prognosis.

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Presented at the Conference “Aromatase: New Perspectives for Breast Cancer,” December 6 to 9, 1981, Key Biscayne, Fla.

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