In young women with early-stage breast cancer, coupling the GnRH analogue triptorelin with chemotherapy led to a 17% reduction in the occurrence of early menopause, according to a report in the July 20 issue of JAMA.
The phase III study results showed:
- The rate of early menopause was 25.9% for chemotherapy alone.
- With the addition of triptorelin, the rate of early menopause was 8.9%.
- These equate to an absolute decrease of 17%.
- Menses resumed in 49.6% of the chemotherapy-only group, compared with 63.3% of the chemotherapy plus triptorelin group, in a secondary analysis of a subgroup of patients.
- In a multivariate analysis, the only factor found to considerably diminish the development of premature menopause was the use of triptorelin.
Researchers note that follow-up is needed to determine the long-term maintenance of ovarian function and fertility in these patients. In addition, follow-up is also necessary to measure the effectiveness of the therapy on breast cancer. Thus far, adding triptorelin doesn’t appear to hinder chemotherapy's effects. Out of the 281 women in the study, there have been 13 breast cancer recurrences with chemotherapy alone and 14 recurrences with the addition of triptorelin, researchers said.