Background: Currently, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the only US Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for hot flashes, resulting in clinical improvement in 80%-90% of symptomatic women. However, HRT is not recommended for patients with breast cancer. Current data regarding the use of stellate ganglion block (SGB) for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms in symptomatic women with a diagnosis of breast cancer are promising.
Methods: A PubMed search for recent articles on the effects of SGB for the treatment of hot flashes in patients with breast cancer identified 11 articles published between 2005-2014.
Results: Five articles described the physiology of hot flashes and the hypothesis of why SGB would be a treatment option, and 6 were clinical articles.
Conclusion: The available results of SGB efficacy are promising but demonstrate significant variability. A large prospective randomized controlled trial is required to determine the exact success of SGB on hot flashes and quality of life in breast cancer survivors.
Keywords: Breast neoplasms; hot flashes; postmenopause; stellate ganglion; vasomotor system.