American Journal of Cancer

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 227–235 | Cite as

Adjuvant Therapy for Early Breast Cancer in Pre-/Perimenopausal Women

What Value?
Current Opinion


The adjuvant treatment of pre- and perimenopausal breast cancer is an area of increasing importance as a result of the rising incidence of the disease and improvements in its detection and diagnosis. Recent years have seen a wider variety of treatments become available, presenting the possibility of increasingly individualized treatment regimens which provide benefits in terms of long-term survival and tolerability. Chemotherapy has been shown to provide a clear benefit to pre-/perimenopausal women with breast cancer, in particular the combination of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF), or more recently, anthracycline-containing regimens such as cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and fluorouracil (CAF). Trials examining the use of adjuvant taxanes have not shown a clear benefit so far compared with standard regimens. Adjuvant endocrine treatment has proved to be important in treating pre-/perimenopausal women with estrogen receptor positive tumors, providing clear evidence that treatment with tamoxifen for a period of 5 years is highly effective. Ovarian ablation has been shown to provide improvements in both overall and disease-free survival that are comparable to those provided by chemotherapy in hormone-sensitive patients whilst offering an improved tolerability profile compared with chemotherapy. Currently, evidence supporting the role of endocrine therapy combined with chemotherapy is limited. The increasing range of adjuvant treatment options available for pre-/perimenopausal breast cancer requires that patients be assessed individually to identify the most appropriate treatment option and that tolerability issues be discussed with the patient prior to the initiation of treatment.


Overall Survival Tamoxifen Goserelin Perimenopausal Woman Ovarian Ablation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This review was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca. The author has no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Klinik für Gynäkologie und GeburtshilfeUniversitäts-KlinikumKielGermany

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