An international team of researchers and clinicians participated in the SWOG Cancer Research Network's POEMS clinical trial. While initial findings released in 2014 were positive, the follow-up results 5 years later are groundbreaking.
The trial included patients with hormone-receptor negative breast cancer, all of which received chemotherapy while one group also received a hormone suppressant, goserelin. Women who took the drug experienced similar, or even better, survival rates compared to those given chemotherapy alone.
Heavy burdens may come with chemotherapy such as ovarian failure leading to infertility, sexual dysfunction, and other unpleasantries. The trial has been applauded for focusing on not only the effectiveness of cancer treatment, but the impact treatment has on the lives of survivors.
Lead researcher and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center member, Halle C. F. Moore, MD, said, "Cancer researchers set out to change the standard of care in order to improve, or lengthen, people's lives. Our final results show a means to improve quality of life for young women with hormone-receptor negative breast cancer. If they want to be mothers, they can improve their chances safely and effectively."