(HealthDay News) — For women with epithelial ovarian cancer, adjuvant hormone therapy (AHT) for five years is associated with improved survival, according to a study published online September 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Rosalind A. Eeles, PhD, from The Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, U.K., and colleagues examined the effect of AHT on survival and disease outcome in epithelial ovarian cancer. Data were included from premenopausal and postmenopausal women who had been diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer. One hundred fifty patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to AHT for five years or no AHT (from 1990–1995). The median follow-up is currently 19.1 years in alive patients.

The researchers found that 71% of patients receiving AHT had died, compared with 91% of patients in the control group. Patients receiving AHT had significantly improved overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.63; P=0.011). There was a similar effect observed for relapse-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.67; P=0.032). After adjustment for known prognostic factors, the effects remained.

“These results show that women who have severe menopausal symptoms after ovarian cancer treatment can safely take hormone-replacement therapy, and this may, in fact, infer benefits in terms of overall survival in addition to known advantages in terms of quality of life,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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