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Incidence of reversible amenorrhea in women with breast cancer undergoing adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy with or without docetaxel

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Author(s): Berliere Martine | Dalenc Florence | Malingret Nathalie | Vindevogel Anita | Piette Philippe | Roche Henry | Donnez Jacques | Symann Michel | Kerger Joseph | Machiels Jean-Pascal

Journal: BMC Cancer
ISSN 1471-2407

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 56;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background To determine the incidence of reversible amenorrhea in women with breast cancer undergoing adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy with or without docetaxel. Methods We studied the incidence and duration of amenorrhea induced by two chemotherapy regimens: (i) 6 cycles of 5-fluorouracil 500 mg/m2, epirubicin 100 mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m2 on day 1 every 3 weeks (6FEC) and (ii) 3 cycles of FEC 100 followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel 100 mg/m2 on day 1 every 3 weeks (3FEC/3D). Reversible amenorrhea was defined as recovery of regular menses and, where available (101 patients), premenopausal hormone values (luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol) in the year following the end of chemotherapy. Results One hundred and fifty-four premenopausal patients were included: 84 treated with 6FEC and 70 with 3FEC/3D. The median age was 43.5 years (range: 28–58) in the 6FEC arm and 44 years (range: 29–53) in the 3FEC/3D arm. Seventy-eight percent of patients were treated in the context of the PACS 01 trial. The incidence of chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea at the end of chemotherapy was similar in the two groups: 93 % in the 6FEC arm and 92.8 % in the 3FEC/3D arm. However, in the year following the end of chemotherapy, more patients recovered menses in the 3FEC/3D arm than in the 6FEC arm: 35.5 % versus 23.7 % (p = 0.019). Among the 101 patients for whom hormone values were available, 43 % in the 3FEC/3D arm and 29 % in the 6FEC arm showed premenopausal levels one year after the end of chemotherapy (p < 0.01). In the 3FEC/3D group, there was a statistically significant advantage in disease-free survival (DFS) for patients who were still amenorrheic after one year, compared to patients who had recovered regular menses (p = 0.0017). Conclusion Our study suggests that 3FEC/3D treatment induces more reversible amenorrhea than 6FEC. The clinical relevance of these findings needs to be investigated further.
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