Goserelin toxicities and preferences for ovarian suppression method in pre-menopausal women with breast cancer

Amy Hsin-Chieh Hsieh, Ganessan Kichenadasse, Sina Vatandoust, Amitesh Roy, Shawgi Sukumaran, Christos Karapetis, Hilary Martin, L C Chong, Bogda Koczwara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Goserelin, a form of medical ovarian suppression, is an effective treatment for pre-menopausal women with breast cancer (PMBC). Meta-analysis data showed that similar efficacy is achieved with medical ovarian suppression and non-pharmacological ovarian suppression (NPOS) – oophorectomy or ovarian irradiation. The acceptance rate of NPOS remains low. Aims: This study explored the reported toxicities of PMBC women and their preferred ovarian suppression method whilst on goserelin. Methods: A postal survey consisting of 22 study-specific questions was sent to PMBC women who received goserelin at the Flinders Medical Centre. Results: Nineteen women were identified from the database; 12 versus 7 women received goserelin in the adjuvant versus metastatic setting respectively. Thirteen (68.4%) responded to the survey. Women in the adjuvant cohort were more likely to report toxicities. The most common were hot flushes (100% vs 50% P = 0.033), myalgia/arthralgia (71.4% vs 16.7%, P = 0.048) and decreased libido (57/1% vs 16.7%, P = 0.135). NPOS was recalled to be offered to five (38.5%) women, with acceptance by one BRCA2 carrier. NPOS was declined initially due to fear of procedure, surgical/anaesthetic risk, invasiveness and planned future pregnancies. If given the option, upfront oophorectomy was indicated in seven (53.8%) women due to inconveniences with monthly goserelin. Conclusion: Half of PMBC women indicated a preference to NPOS, but only a minority recollected NPOS being discussed. Inconvenience with monthly goserelin is the main driver toward a preference of favouring NPOS. Clarification from larger trials that research patients’ decision process and preferences regarding ovarian suppression is needed to validate our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1159
Number of pages7
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number10
Early online date8 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • goserelin
  • ovarian suppression
  • pre-menopausal women
  • breast cancer
  • Preference
  • preference


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