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Support Care Cancer. 2019 Aug 11. doi: 10.1007/s00520-019-05013-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Depomedroxyprogesterone acetate therapy for hot flashes in survivors of breast cancer: no unfavorable impact on recurrence and survival.

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Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.
Department of General Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ, USA.



Survivors of estrogen receptor-expressing breast cancer generally do not receive estrogen-based therapy for menopausal symptoms due to concern for provoking recurrence of disease. Single-dose depomedroxyprogesterone acetate has been shown to be among the most effective non-estrogen strategies for treatment of menopausal hot flashes, but long-term evidence for safety in survivors is lacking.


We conducted an institutional review board approved, retrospective, case-control cohort study at a tertiary, academic referral center. Patients with estrogen receptor-expressing early-stage operable breast cancer who received depomedroxyprogesterone acetate for hot flashes between January 2005 and December 2012 were identified. We confirmed 75 patients who met strict inclusion criteria who were matched 1:1 with controls for age, stage of disease, HER2 status, and year of diagnosis. Overall survival, loco-regional recurrence-free survival, and progression-free survival assessments for cases were compared with controls.


Median follow-up duration was 68.4 months in cases and 57.6 months in controls. Estimated local-regional recurrence-free survival at 10 years was 97% (95% CI, 92-100%) in cases and 98% (95% CI, 95-100%) in controls. Estimated progression-free survival at 10 years was 89% (95% CI, 80-100%) in cases and 83% (95% CI, 73-95) in controls. The majority (75%) of case patients experienced satisfactory relief of hot flashes from depomedroxyprogesterone injection.


In this retrospective case-control study, we were unable to identify a detrimental effect of depomedroxyprogesterone acetate therapy for hot flashes in survivors of estrogen receptor-expressing breast cancer. Depomedroxyprogesterone acetate may be acceptable for management of hot flashes in this population.


Breast neoplasms; Hot flashes; Medroxyprogesterone acetate; Survivors


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