Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 479–485 | Cite as

Effects on survival of menstrual cycle phase of adjuvant surgical oophorectomy in premenopausal women with breast cancer

  • Richard R. Love
  • Gregory S. Young
  • Erinn M. Hade
  • David Jarjoura
Clinical trial


Adjuvant surgical oophorectomy is an effective and remarkably cost effective treatment for premenopausal women with hormone receptor positive operable breast cancer. Previously published secondary analyses indicated a survival benefit for patients whose surgery was performed in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle as opposed to the follicular. This study utilizes additional follow-up and more fully examines this hypothesis and the general implications of long-term follow-up on trial design. Beginning in 1993 we recruited women to a multicenter randomized clinical trial of adjuvant surgical oophorectomy and tamoxifen for 5 years. We recorded the reported day 1 of the patients’ last menstrual cycle on the day of their adjuvant surgery. We conducted secondary analyses of the association of history-estimated luteal or follicular phase oophorectomy surgery with disease-free and overall survival. In multivariable Cox analyses, disease-free survival (DFS) exhibited a positive trend and overall survival (OS) showed a significant improvement in patients whose surgery was estimated to have occurred in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle compared to the follicular (HR for DFS: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.37–1.16; HR for OS: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.27–0.88). From the hazard function plots, it appears that the luteal phase surgery effect on DFS diminishes after 6 years of follow-up. In conclusion, adjuvant surgical oophorectomy during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle resulted in a reduced hazard of recurrence as compared to oophorectomy in the follicular phase during the first 5.5 years of follow-up. The practical and biological implications of these findings deserve rigorous evaluation in clinical trials.


Breast neoplasms Adjuvant Surgical ovariectomy Follicular phase Luteal phase 



Supported by Grant No.CA 64339 from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. The International Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Madison, WI, USA, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, New York, NY, USA.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard R. Love
    • 1
  • Gregory S. Young
    • 2
  • Erinn M. Hade
    • 2
  • David Jarjoura
    • 2
  1. 1.Comprehensive Cancer CenterThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Center for BiostatisticsThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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