What is Letrozole?
Letrozole is a research liquid that operates as an aromatase inhibitor, which means it works by blocking the production of estrogen by the enzyme aromatase. Currently, it is being researched for its ability to control hormonally responsible breast cancer in animal test subjects. It has also been found to induce polycystic ovaries in rats. This could lead to further research on polycystic ovary syndrome.
Letrozole is not only being studied for its use against breast cancer in animal subjects, but also its ability to prevent the reoccurrence of the cancer. This research liquid has been shown to decrease the recurrence of the cancer and decreased the chance for death in animal test subjects.
Letrozole Side Effects
When working with research liquids, it is found that most come with side effects that can range from serious to minor. A technician should always monitor animal test subjects for potential side effects.
Common side effects of Letrozole include:
- Bone, muscle, or joint pain
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
Due to the decrease of estrogen, aromatase inhibitors have been known to increase the risk for developing osteoporosis and joint problems. Because of this, bisphosphonates are sometimes use in conjunction with these types of research liquids.
Hormonal Therapy for Cancer
Hormones are chemical substances produced by glands. They enter the bloodstream and have different effects on a number of different tissues. Estrogen is an example of a hormone, which is responsible for the development of female characteristics in animals.
In hormonally responsive breast cancers, found in animal test subjects, the hormone estrogen is known to aid in the growth and development of the tumorous cells cause by the disease. These kinds of breast cancers cells have proteins that can bind to the hormone, which are called hormone receptors. By reducing the production of these hormones, it takes away the potential for the tumor to grow at a rapid pace and potentially cause them to shrink in size.
Letrozole Mechanism of Action
Aromatase is an enzyme that catalyzes the process of converting androgens into estrogens, this process being called aromatization. This enzyme is commonly found in a number of different tissues including the ovaries, and breast cells. Aromatase inhibitors are often used in the treatment of cancers that use estrogen to grow, such as breast cancers and ovarian cancers. It works by decreasing the production of estrogen in the tissues surrounding the cancerous cells. The cancer cells bind to estrogen cells to develop; with less estrogen to bind the tumor is forced to shrink down in size.
Working as an aromatase inhibitor, Letrozole inhibits the enzyme aromatase. This compound has the ability to pass through cell membranes of lipid fat cells, and prevent the production of estrogen. Due to a decrease in the production on estrogen, Letrozole has been found to effectively starve tumors in animal test subjects.
Based on current studies, Letrozole has the potential to be used in a number of different ways. Studies done on laboratory rats have shown its ability to decrease the ability of hormone positive breast cancers to bind to estrogen cells.
Research has also shown Letrozole can be helpful with ovulation problems in animal test subjects. Because the levels of estrogen are suppressed, the pituitary gland is stimulated to increase the output of follicle stimulating hormone. In cases where animals are suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome or anovulation, the increase of this hormone can help the development of a mature follicle and ovulation of eggs. By increasing the number of eggs released, the rate of pregnancy is increased in female animal test subjects.
Letrozole is currently in the research stage and should not be used outside of a scientific laboratory. It is being sold only as a research liquid, and should not be used for human consumption. More research needs to be done before it can be used in any other way.
Currently, Letrozole is being test on laboratory animals for potential use in breast cancer and infertility treatments, since it acts as an aromatase inhibitor. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancers in animal test subjects. Since Letrozole works by decreasing the production of estrogen, it can come with serious side effects.
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