Impact of body mass index on the efficacy of aromatase inhibitors in patients with metastatic breast cancer

Rima Patel, Zhiqiang Li, Brittney S. Zimmerman, Marc Y. Fink, Jason D. Wells, Xiang Zhou, Kristin Ayers, Arielle Redfern, Scott Newman, Eric Schadt, William K. Oh, Rong Chen, Amy Tiersten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Higher levels of estrogen in obese patients may lead to incomplete inhibition by aromatase inhibitors (AIs). The aim of this study was to determine the impact of body mass index (BMI) on efficacy of AIs in patients with metastatic hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer (BC). Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of all female patients with metastatic HR-positive BC on an AI in first- or second-line settings and seen at our academic institution between 2001 and 2020. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS), defined as the time from start of AI to disease progression or death from any cause. Results: We identified 219 patients who had received an AI in the first- or second-line settings for metastatic HR-positive BC and with documented information on BMI. Of the 219 patients, 56% (123) had a low BMI (defined as < 27 kg/m2) and 44% (96) had a high BMI (≥ 27 kg/m2). The median PFS was 21.9 months (95% CI 14.5 to 28.4) in the low BMI group versus 20.2 months (95% CI 14.3 to 27.5) in the high BMI group (p = 0.73). Conclusion: While BMI influences efficacy of AIs in the adjuvant setting, our results suggest that in the metastatic setting, BMI may not impact the efficacy of AIs. This discrepancy could be due to other differences in disease characteristics that make complete aromatase inhibition more important in the adjuvant setting when disease burden is the lowest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Aromatase inhibitors
  • Hormone positive breast cancer
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Obesity


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of body mass index on the efficacy of aromatase inhibitors in patients with metastatic breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this