“I had treatment last year and I want to give something back.”
A trial looking at ovarian protection for premenopausal women having chemotherapy for breast cancer (OPTION)
This trial was trying to find out if goserelin (Zoladex) could protect the ovaries, and so prevent early menopause, in women who were having chemotherapy for
More about this trial
Doctors often treat breast cancer with
Goserelin (Zoladex) is a type of
The aim of this trial was to see if goserelin could help prevent early menopause caused by chemotherapy.
Summary of results
The trial team found that goserelin prevented early menopause caused by chemotherapy to some degree in women younger than 40 years. It was uncertain whether it prevented it in women over 40.
This was a
Women in group 1 had 6 - 8 cycles of chemotherapy alone. The drugs they had depended on their situation.
Women in group 2 also had 6 - 8 cycles of chemotherapy, as well as goserelin (Zoladex) injections. They had the goserelin injections 1-2 weeks before starting chemotherapy and then every 3-4 weeks until the end of chemotherapy.
All the women had a follow-up every 6 months for 2 years, then every 12 months for 3 years. The researchers checked their hormone levels:
- at cycle 3
- after the final cycle
- at 9 months after treatment finished
- at12 months after treatment finished
- then yearly
All the women kept a diary of their
Around 19 out of every 100 women (18.5%) who had goserelin had an early menopause. In women who had chemotherapy only, about 35 out of every 100 (34.5%) had an early menopause.
Women younger than 40 years old
- Those who had goserelin, about 3 out of every 100 (2.6%) had an early menopause.
- Those who had chemotherapy only, 20 out of 100 (20%) had an early menopause.
Women older than 40 years
The effect of goserelin was less clear in women older than 40 years old.
- Those who had goserilin, around 42 out of every 100 women (42.3%) had an early menopause.
- Those who had chemotherapy only, around 47 out of every 100 (47.2%) had an early menopause.
The researchers also found that although goserelin had caused bone thinning (osteoporosis) to happen quicker during treatment, bones recovered sooner once treatment had stopped. These results showed researchers that goserelin protected the ovaries well enough by cancelling out the long-term bone-thinning effect of early menopause.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor Rob Leonard
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/04/004.