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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1997 Apr;43(2):183-90.

Amenorrhea induced by adjuvant chemotherapy in early breast cancer patients: prognostic role and clinical implications.

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Oncologia medica 1, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genova, Italy.



The role of amenorrhea induced by chemotherapy in premenopausal women with early breast cancer is very controversial. Analyses by various authors of the effect of drug-induced amenorrhea (DIA) on treatment outcome have yielded conflicting results. In order to gain insight into the role of DIA, we reviewed all published data addressing the issue of DIA as a prognostic factor.


Computerised and manual searches were conducted of relevant studies published from 1966 to 1995.


Thirteen studies involving 3929 patients were selected. In two papers, the prognostic role of DIA was analysed in three and two different groups of patients, respectively. Overall, 16 groups of patients were evaluated. With 12 groups, a higher disease free survival was observed in patients developing DIA compared to those who did not. This difference was statistically significant in eight groups. Data on overall survival, reported in only five studies, indicated that it was always improved in patients who became amenorrheic.


Available data on the role of DIA support its importance as a favorable prognostic factor for early breast cancer patients. However, due to the possible biases of this type of evaluation, this result should be interpreted with caution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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