Anyone on Zoladex and chemo

Was just trying to find out if anyone has been given zoladex to try to protect their ovaries and try & prevent going into the menopause from the effects of chemo & prevent problems associated with an early menopause if under 40? I think the side effects arent can be bad on this but supposed to be reversible? It was in one of the booklets that it is used although not sure if its just trial use as it doesnt seem standard treatment. Would be interested to know if anyone has been offered it or is using it for this/ how it went- as some side effetcs seem pretty bad. Is it just used for the time you are on chemo? Not sure if I’m understanding it correctly.
many thanks x

Hiya - I didn’t have chemotherapy although it was an option for me - I did two years of Zoladex instead because I was more likely to preserve my fertility with it but if I’d had chemotherapy I’d definitely have combined it with Zoladex.

There is currently a big study to see if using Zoladex to switch off your ovaries to protect them during chemotherapy works. I don’t think the study has concluded but apparently the anecdotal evidence is quite strong. I didn’t enjoy the Zoladex experience - as one friend put it, I wasn’t exactly selling the menopause as a fun experience. I came off it a month ago but it’s too early to tell if my fertility is back, although it is one of the ironies of breast cancer treatment that both Tamoxifen and Zoladex are also used to treat infertility.

I imagine someone will be along with more relevant experience.

Hi Debbs
Yes, I am on Zoladex for this purpose. I was pregnant when diagnosed, miscarried after surgery, had failed fertility treatment prior to chemo, so am holding out that this will help me retain the ability to try again - I’m not ready to slam the door shut on being childless!!

I did ask to go on it (and was given it without question by the fertility clinic) as I had read a review article which seemed really positive. My chemo centre is running it as a trial, but you risk getting the placebo if you’re on a formal trial, so I am glad I’m not on it. I know I’m getting the real thing.

So far, I am putting on weight and having hot and cold flushes, but whether these are down to the chemo or the zoladex it is hard to tell. I have had two periods in 4 months, plus some spotting.

I admit, I am not sure how long I will be on this for. I have had indication that my oncologist is keen to keep me menopausal for a minimum of 2 years post-treatment to reduce risk of recurrence, and he hinted that he may do this by continuing the Zoladex and using something other than Tamoxifen. If I stay cancer-free for that long, then maybe I could try again for a baby.

I’ll try and find the article and post a reference to it, so you can download it (you may have to pay, I can’t remember…).
Flora xxx

Here is the article I was thinking about:

Maltaris, T. et al, 2009, Fertility Preservation for Young Female Cancer Patients, In Vivo (23), p.12-130.

"Blumenfeld and other research groups were able to demonstrate that the GnRH agonists are well tolerated and may protect long-term ovarian function (Table I, 41-46). However these studies included a small number of patients. Blumenfeld has reported on what is probably the largest group of women (55 lymphoma patients) who were started on GnRH-a 7-10 days before chemotherapy treatment. The rate of Premature Ovarian Failure was 5% in the GnRH-a/chemotherapy group versus 55% in the group receiving chemotherapy alone (41). "