Dr. Francis on the Benefits of Ovarian Suppression for Younger Women

Prudence Francis, MD, with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, Australia, talks about her recent suppression of ovarian function trial (SOFT), and the impact it could have on the future treatment of premenopausal women under 35 with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Younger women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer have a higher risk of recurrence than those over 35. Previous research has shown this may be because premenopausal women still have functioning ovaries releasing estrogen.

The study compared tamoxifen plus ovarian function suppression versus tamoxifen alone and found that the addition of ovarian function suppression reduced recurrence of breast cancer in higher-risk young women who did not reach menopause after chemotherapy.

In women under 35 one in three had further breast cancer within five years with tamoxifen alone, while one in six had further breast cancer with exemestane plus ovarian function suppression.

The value of adding ovarian function suppression had previously been uncertain, but the findings from this study suggest that the combination could become the standard of care for young women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.


View more from the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium