Dr. Moore Discusses Ovarian Preservation in Breast Cancer

Halle Moore, MD
Published: Thursday, Dec 07, 2017



Halle Moore, MD, medical oncologist, the Cleveland Clinic, discusses the use of GnRH agonists to preserve ovarian function and fertility in women with breast cancer.

Moore presented the results of the POEMS study at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), which demonstrated that when given alongside chemotherapy, goserelin, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist, improved pregnancy outcomes, disease-free survival, and overall survival outcomes in women with early-stage hormone receptor (HR)-negative breast cancer.

GnRH agonists work by putting women into temporary menopause, stopping ovarian cycling and estrogen production. While researchers are currently not entirely sure about why these agents prevent toxicity on the ovaries, one theory, Moore said, is that by preventing ovarian cycling, the ovaries get less blood flow for chemotherapy to impose negative effects–similar to how cooling caps work to prevent chemotherapy-related alopecia.

The POEMS study was also part of a larger meta-analysis, which was also presented at SABCS. This analysis included individual patient data from 5 different studies. Again, results displayed that drugs such as goserelin and other GnRH agonists can improve both pregnancy and survival outcomes, confirming the safety of this class of agents.

Moving forward, Moore mentioned that these findings suggest that physicians should more routinely be offering these agents to young women with breast cancer, especially if they one day hope to have children.


Halle Moore, MD, medical oncologist, the Cleveland Clinic, discusses the use of GnRH agonists to preserve ovarian function and fertility in women with breast cancer.

Moore presented the results of the POEMS study at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), which demonstrated that when given alongside chemotherapy, goserelin, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist, improved pregnancy outcomes, disease-free survival, and overall survival outcomes in women with early-stage hormone receptor (HR)-negative breast cancer.

GnRH agonists work by putting women into temporary menopause, stopping ovarian cycling and estrogen production. While researchers are currently not entirely sure about why these agents prevent toxicity on the ovaries, one theory, Moore said, is that by preventing ovarian cycling, the ovaries get less blood flow for chemotherapy to impose negative effects–similar to how cooling caps work to prevent chemotherapy-related alopecia.

The POEMS study was also part of a larger meta-analysis, which was also presented at SABCS. This analysis included individual patient data from 5 different studies. Again, results displayed that drugs such as goserelin and other GnRH agonists can improve both pregnancy and survival outcomes, confirming the safety of this class of agents.

Moving forward, Moore mentioned that these findings suggest that physicians should more routinely be offering these agents to young women with breast cancer, especially if they one day hope to have children.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Cancer Summaries and Commentaries™: Update from Chicago: Advances in the Treatment of Breast CancerJul 31, 20181.0
Community Practice Connections™: Medical Crossfire®: Translating Lessons Learned with PARP Inhibition to the Treatment of Breast Cancer—Expert Exchanges on Novel Strategies to Personalize CareAug 29, 20181.5
Publication Bottom Border
Border Publication
x