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Semin Surg Oncol. 1996 Sep-Oct;12(5):339-45.

Is it time to develop an optimal endocrine therapy for premenopausal patients with axillary node positive and negative breast cancer?

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


One hundred years ago ovarian ablation was shown to be an effective treatment for advanced breast cancer in premenopausal women. Since that time many different treatment modalities have been advocated to improve patient survival. The value of adjuvant ovarian ablation, however, has recently been established in the overview of breast cancer clinical trials. In fact, comparison of the efficacy of combination chemotherapy with earlier trials of oophorectomy demonstrate the superiority of oophorectomy. The effectiveness of chemotherapy may largely be the result of partial ovarian ablation produced in premenopausal patients. Based on this position, we propose a clinical trial that would establish the optimal therapy for premenopausal breast cancer. In addition, the beneficial effects of long-term tamoxifen as it pertains to serum lipids and bone density are highlighted. The use of tamoxifen maintenance in oophorectomized women might provide an optimal therapy for the control of breast cancer recurrence.

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