Breast Oncologist Beth Overmoyer Explains Results of Ovarian Suppression

Beth Overmoyer, a breast oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, speaks on the results of the SOFT trial and its potential impact on young women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Beth Overmoyer, a breast oncologist at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancer’s at Dana-Farber in Boston, speaks on the results of the SOFT trial.

Women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer who remained premenopausal after receiving chemotherapy had a lower risk of disease recurrence when adding ovarian suppression to adjuvant Aromasin (exemestane) or tamoxifen (to a lesser extent) compared with standard tamoxifen alone, according to results from the phase 3 SOFT trial.

Study results were announced at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December. Overmoyer noted that the role of ovarian suppression in high-risk, premenopausal women was a very important finding in this study.

"We've been looking at this for decades, since the 80s," she says. "We finally have good data to support a role of ovarian suppression in younger women who are at higher risk." The data will also allow patients and their medical team to focus on symptom management, which will benefit everyone on endocrine therapy, she says, regardless of the menopausal status. Symptoms of endocrine therapy are similar to common menopausal symptoms, such as low libido, vaginal dryness and hot flashes.

"There will be a push toward to examining these side effects and trying to minimize them, because again, we are going to be making young women menopausal at a much younger age," she says. "That's a very important theme that has been brought up."

Read more about the SOFT trial at "Ovarian Suppression Emerges as Option for Younger, Premenopausal Breast Cancer Patients."