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The Role of Hormonal Therapy in Gynecological Cancers-Current Status and Future Directions
  1. Katrin M. Sjoquist, FRACP*,,
  2. Julie Martyn, PhD*,,
  3. Richard J. Edmondson, MD, MRCOG and
  4. Michael L. Friedlander, PhD, FRACP,§
  1. *NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney; and
  2. Australia and New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia;
  3. Northern Gynaecological Oncology Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, UK; and
  4. §Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick; and
  5. University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Michael L. Friedlander, PhD, FRACP, Department of Medical Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital, High St, Randwick, New South Wales 2031, Australia. E-mail: Michael.Friedlander{at}


Many gynecological cancers, including epithelial and stromal ovarian cancers; endometrial carcinomas; and some gynecological sarcomas, in particular endometrial stromal sarcomas, express estrogen and/ or progesterone receptors. Hormonal therapy, typically progestogens or tamoxifen, is commonly prescribed to patients with potentially hormone-sensitive recurrent or metastatic gynecological cancers with very variable response rates and clinical benefit reported. Aromatase inhibitors are now widely used to treat postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancers as they have greater activity than tamoxifen and are generally better tolerated. The role of aromatase inhibitors in gynecological cancers is uncertain and has not been well studied, although they do appear to be active. The current evidence to support the use of hormonal therapies including aromatase inhibitors in gynecological cancers is reviewed, and the gaps in our knowledge highlighted.

  • Aromatase inhibitors
  • Gynecological neoplasms
  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • Endometrial neoplasms
  • Hormonal therapy

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  • This work was supported by NHMRC Project grant 570893 and by infrastructure grants awarded by Cancer Australia and the Cancer Institute NSW to the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group. The funding sources had no role in writing of this report or decision to publish results. The final responsibility for the decision to submit the report for publication was jointly agreed by all authors and the corresponding author.