The Role of Ovarian Suppression in Premenopausal Women With Hormone Receptor-Positive Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Sarika Jain, Cesar A ugusto Santa-Maria, William J. Gradishar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The optimal adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer is yet to be elucidated. Studies have demonstrated that women who experience cessation of ovarian function after chemotherapy (chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea) may experience improved survival. These findings, however, have not been replicated when pharmacologic or surgical interventions have been used to stop ovarian function (eg, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, oophorectomy, or ovarian irradiation) in combination with an endocrine agent such as tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor. Recent large phase III clinical trials, including the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group trial (ABCSG-12), Suppression of Ovarian Function Trial (SOFT), and Tamoxifen and Exemestane Trial (TEXT), did not demonstrate an improvement in disease-free survival with ovarian suppression in the overall population. However, subgroup analyses suggest that women at high risk for recurrence, including very young women or those who have received chemotherapy, may benefit from the addition of ovarian suppression. Still, toxicity and adverse effects on patient-reported outcomes were more frequent in patients who received ovarian suppression; these included more menopausal and sexual dysfunction symptoms, diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis. This review will summarize the experience with ovarian suppression in the adjuvant setting for the treatment of premenopausal early-stage breast cancer and offer recommendations for clinical management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-8, 481
JournalOncology (Williston Park, N.Y.)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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