It has been suggested that the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) in premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) early breast cancer may be related, at least in part, to CT-induced ovarian function suppression (OFS) in this subgroup of patients. Although this hypothesis has not been directly tested in large randomized clinical trials, the observations from prospective studies have been remarkably consistent in showing a late benefit of CT among the subgroup of patients who benefit (ie, women who were close to menopause). The hypothesis has important clinical implications, as it may be possible to spare the associated adverse effects of adjuvant CT in a select group of women with early breast cancer, in favor of optimizing OFS and endocrine therapy (ET), without compromising clinical outcomes. Such an approach has the added benefit of preserving the key quality of life outcomes in premenopausal women, particularly by preventing the irreversible loss of ovarian function that may result from CT use. For this reason, we convened an international panel of clinical experts in breast cancer treatment to discuss the key aspects of the available data in this area, as well as the potential clinical implications for patients. This article summarizes the results of these discussions and presents the consensus opinion of the panel regarding optimizing the use of OFS for premenopausal women with HR+, HER2- early breast cancer.

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