Chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea in patients with breast cancer with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation

Adriana Valentini, Amy Finch, Jan Lubinśki, Tomasz Byrski, Parviz Ghadirian, Charmaine Kim-Sing, Henry T. Lynch, Peter J. Ainsworth, Susan L. Neuhausen, Ellen Greenblatt, Christian Singer, Ping Sun, Steven A. Narod

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50 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the likelihood of long-term amenorrhea after treatment with chemotherapy in women with breast cancer who carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Patients and Methods: We conducted a multicenter survey of 1,954 young women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation who were treated for breast cancer. We included premenopausal women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 26 and 47 years of age. We determined the age of onset of amenorrhea after breast cancer for women who were and were not treated with chemotherapy, alone or with tamoxifen. We considered chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea to have occurred when the patient experienced ≥ 2 years of amenorrhea, commencing within 2 years of initiating chemotherapy, with no resumption of menses. Results: Of the 1,426 women who received chemotherapy, 35% experienced long-term amenorrhea. Of the 528 women who did not receive chemotherapy, 5.3% developed long-term amenorrhea. The probabilities of chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea were 7.2% for women diagnosed before age 30 years, 33% for women age 31 to 44 years, and 79% for women diagnosed after age 45 years (P trend <.001). The probability of induced amenorrhea was higher for women who received tamoxifen than for those who did not (52% v 29%; P <.001). Conclusion: Age at treatment and use of tamoxifen are important predictors of chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea in women who carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. The risk of induced long-term amenorrhea does not seem to be greater among mutation carriers than among women who do not carry a mutation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3914-3919
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number31
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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