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J Clin Oncol. 1998 Mar;16(3):994-9.

Multicenter randomized clinical trial of goserelin versus surgical ovariectomy in premenopausal patients with receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer: an intergroup study.

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  • 1University of Arizona, Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, USA.



To compare failure-free survival (FFS) and overall survival (OS) for patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GN-RH) agonist, goserelin versus surgical ovariectomy.


Between August 1, 1987 and July 15, 1995 138 (136 eligible) premenopausal patients with estrogen receptor (ER)- and/or progesterone receptor (PgR)-positive metastatic breast cancer were entered by the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG). Prior chemotherapy or hormone therapy for metastatic disease was not allowed. Patients were randomly assigned to goserelin (3.6 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks; (n = 69) versus surgical ovariectomy (n = 67). The study was initially designed as an equivalence trial with 80% power to rule out a 50% improvement in survival due to ovariectomy. However, accrual was slow and the study was terminated early, which resulted in a final power of 60% for the alternative hypothesis of equal survival distributions.


FFS and OS were similar for goserelin and ovariectomy. The goserelin/ovariectomy death hazards ratio was .80 and the associated 95% confidence interval (CI) was .53 to 1.20. The test of 50% improvement in survival due to ovariectomy was rejected at P = .006. Goserelin lowered serum estradiol to postmenopausal levels. Hot flashes (75% v 46%) and tumor flare (16% v 3%) were more common with goserelin.


Goserelin and ovariectomy resulted in similar FFS and OS. We can rule out a moderate advantage for ovariectomy. Goserelin was safe and well tolerated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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