The role of ovarian suppression/ablation (OS/OA) in premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer has been evolving for more than a century. It is clear that OS/OA is an effective adjuvant therapy for these women, but despite numerous studies enrolling thousands of women, many unanswered questions remain. In particular, a major question is whether additional benefit is gained with combination treatment comprising luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists and tamoxifen over tamoxifen alone. Ongoing trials also are assessing the coupling of aromatase inhibitors (traditionally contraindicated in these patients because of paradoxic stimulation of estrogen production) and LH-RH agonists. Any potential disease-free or overall survival advantage of combination treatment must be balanced against a possible increase in adverse effects and impairment of quality of life. This review focuses on new data regarding how to incorporate OS/OA into the rational treatment of this challenging patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas