Zoladex: endocrine and therapeutic effects in post-menopausal breast cancer.
Harris AL., Carmichael J., Cantwell BM., Dowsett M.
The endocrine and therapeutic effects of the LHRH agonist Zoladex have been assessed in 28 post-menopausal women with advanced breast cancer. Fourteen had responded to previous hormone therapy and 14 had no previous hormone therapy. There were two partial responses and two patients with stable disease for more than 6 months in the former group, and one partial response and two with stable disease for more than 6 months in the latter group. Toxicity was minimal. All responses occurred in soft tissue. Six out of seven patients who received tamoxifen after progression of disease on Zoladex showed a response. Peripheral oestradiol levels were measured, and they fell after 1 month from 33 pmol l-1 (+/- 20, s.d.) to 22 pmol l-1 (+/- 11, s.d.) (P less than 0.005). Responders and non-responders showed similar changes in oestradiol. Oestrone levels did not change significantly. These results suggest that Zoladex acts indirectly via changes in peripheral hormones, rather than directly on LHRH receptors on the tumour.