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The aim of the study was to evaluate the progression of bone mineral density (BMD) during 3 years of aromatase inhibitors (AI) therapy in actual practice conditions. This prospective, clinical cohort study of Barcelona-Aromatase induced Bone Loss in Early breast cancer (B-ABLE) assessed BMD changes during 3 years of AI treatment in women with breast cancer. Patients with osteoporosis (T score < -2.5 or T score ≤ -2.0) and a major risk factor and/or prevalent fragility fractures were treated with oral bisphosphonates (BPs). Of 685 women recruited, 179 (26.1%) received BP treatment. By the third year of AI therapy, this group exhibited increased BMD in the lumbar spine (LS; 2.59%) and femoral neck (FN; 2.50%), although the increase was significant only within the first year (LS: 1.99% and FN: 2.04%). Despite BP therapy, however, approximately 15% of these patients lost more than 3% of their baseline bone mass. At 3 years, patients without BP experienced BMD decreases in the LS (-3.10%) and FN (-2.79%). In this group, BMD changes occurred during the first (LS: -1.33% and FN: -1.25%), second (LS: -1.19% and FN: -0.82%), and third (LS: -0.57% and FN: -0.65%) years of AI treatment. Increased BMD (>3%) was observed in just 7.6% and 10.8% of these patients at the LS and FN, respectively. Our data confirm a clinically relevant bone loss associated with AI therapy amongst nonusers of preventative BPs. We further report on the importance of BMD monitoring as well as calcium and 25-hydroxy vitamin D supplementation in these patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Endocr relat cancer

Publication Date





303 - 312


25(OH)vitD, aromatase inhibitors, bisphosphonates, bone loss, breast cancer, osteoporosis, Aged, Aromatase Inhibitors, Bone Density, Bone Density Conservation Agents, Breast Neoplasms, Diphosphonates, Female, Femur Neck, Hip, Humans, Lumbar Vertebrae, Middle Aged, Osteoporosis, Prospective Studies