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Efficacy of Ovarian Ablation and Chemotherapy Compared

Survival effect similar in premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, ovarian ablation has a similar effect to chemotherapy on disease-free and overall survival, researchers report in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Bent Ejlertsen, M.D., Ph.D., of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues randomly assigned 762 patients to ovarian ablation by irradiation or to nine courses of chemotherapy with intravenous cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil (CMF), administered every three weeks.

After a median follow-up of 8.5 years, the researchers found that the unadjusted hazard ratio for disease-free survival in the ovarian ablation group compared with the CMF group was 0.99. After a median follow-up of 10.5 years, they found that the hazard ratio for overall survival was 1.11 for the ovarian ablation group compared with the CMF group.

"The conclusion of Ejlertsen et al that radiation-induced ovarian ablation/ovarian suppression and CMF have a similar effect on disease-free and overall survival for premenopausal women with receptor-positive breast cancer is likely to be correct," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "This study joins four other published studies comparing ovarian ablation/ovarian suppression by surgery, goserelin or leuprolide with variations of CMF that have shown similar results for women with hormone-responsive disease."

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