Zoladex: therapeutic effects in postmenopausal breast cancer.
Harris AL., Carmichael J., Cantwell BM., Dowsett M.
The endocrine and therapeutic effects of the luteinising hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogue, Zoladex, have been assessed in 28 postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer. Fourteen had responded to previous hormone therapy and 14 had received no previous hormone therapy. Zoladex treatment resulted in 2 partial responses and 2 patients with stable disease for more than 6 months in the former group, and 1 partial response and 2 with stable disease for more than 6 months in the latter group. Toxicity was minimal. All responses occurred in soft tissue disease. Peripheral oestradiol levels fell after 1 month of Zoladex from 33 pmol/l (+/- 20 SD) to 22 pmol/l (+/- 11 SD) (p less than 0.005) and both responders and nonresponders showed similar changes in oestradiol. Oestrone levels did not change significantly. Six out of 7 patients who received tamoxifen after progression of disease on Zoladex, showed a response. These results suggest that Zoladex acts indirectly via changes in peripheral hormone levels rather than directly on LHRH receptors on the tumour.