Phase II trial of tamoxifen and goserelin in recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer

Br J Cancer. 2005 Sep 19;93(6):647-51. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602752.


Endocrine therapy is a recognised option in the treatment of chemo-resistant ovarian cancer. We conducted a nonrandomised phase II evaluation of combination endocrine therapy with tamoxifen and goserelin in patients with advanced ovarian cancer that had recurred following chemotherapy. In total, 26 patients entered the study, of which 17 had platinum-resistant disease. The median age was 63 years and enrolled patients had received a median of three chemotherapy regimens prior to trial entry. Patients were given oral tamoxifen 20 mg twice daily on a continuous basis and subcutaneous goserelin 3.6 mg once a month until disease progression. Using the definition of endocrine response that included patients with stable disease (SD) of 6 months or greater, the overall response rate (clinical benefit rate) was 50%. This included one complete response (CR) (3.8%), two partial responses (PR) (7.7%) and 10 patients with SD (38.5%). The median progression-free interval (PFI) was 4 months (95% CI 2.4-9.6) while the median overall survival (OS) was 13.6 months (95% CI 5.5-30.6). Four patients received treatment for more than 2 years (range 1-31) and one of them is still on treatment. In none of the four patients was there any evidence of recurrent or cumulative treatment related toxicity. Treatment-limiting toxicity was not seen in any of the study population. Endocrine data demonstrated a marked suppression of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to less than 4% of baseline values. No consistent correlation could be established between LH/FSH suppression and tumour response. Likewise no relationship was observed between Inhibin A/B and pro-alpha C levels and tumour response. Inhibin is unlikely to be a useful surrogate marker for response in locally advanced or metastatic ovarian cancer. Combination endocrine therapy with tamoxifen and goserelin is an active regimen in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients. Hormonal therapy is advantageous in its relative lack of toxicity, ease of administration and tolerability, thus making it suitable for patients with heavily pretreated disease, compromised bone marrow function and other comorbid conditions that contraindicate cytotoxic therapy as well as in patients with indolent disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / drug therapy*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Goserelin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Survival Rate
  • Tamoxifen / administration & dosage


  • Tamoxifen
  • Goserelin