Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Holds Promise For Protecting Cancer Patients Against Infertility

Date:
July 9, 2007
Source:
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Summary:
A promising new therapy for protecting the fertility of women with cancer and auto-immune diseases such as lupus was revealed at the 23rd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (Tuesday, July 3 2007).

A promising new therapy for protecting the fertility of women with cancer and auto-immune diseases such as lupus was revealed at the 23rd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 3 July 2007). Dr. Kate Stern, Research Director of the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, told the conference that her pilot study had shown gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists were likely to be able to protect the ovary in women receiving potentially toxic doses of chemotherapy. "We are now hoping to carry out a randomised controlled trial to assess the long term protective effect of this treatment", she said

Related Articles


GnRH analogues are commonly used in the management of women's disorders that are dependent on oestrogen production, and in IVF therapies. Dr. Stern and her team studied women between the ages of 18 and 35 years who were due to receive high doses of cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug. They knew that GnHR analogues were already used for the temporary suppression of ovulation in infertility treatment, so reasoned that it would be possible to use it to shut down the ovaries temporarily during the time that chemotherapy was administered, and hence protect them from the effect of the drugs.

The women were given the GnRH antagonist cetrorelix by 3 subcutaneous injections, each of them four days apart, concurrently with their chemotherapy. The scientists observed that there was evidence that ovarian function was suppressed, but that this returned to normal after chemotherapy stopped. Follicle stimulating hormone levels were up in 73% of the patients, but these also subsequently returned to normal. 94% of the patients resumed spontaneous ovulation and menses within 12 months.

"We believe that using GnRH antagonists in this way could reduce the side effects of chemotherapy over a long period", said Dr. Stern. "Other studies have tried to analyse whether similar treatments work, but the medications used have been long-acting and therefore cause shutdown for the whole time the patient is in chemo. This means that patients get unpleasant side effects related to having low oestrogen levels, such as hot flushes, and can also lead to loss of bone mass."

The side effects associated with the cyclical use of GnRH antagonists were minimal, she said. "19% of patients did not experience any at all, and only 6% reported persistent side effects, none of which were dangerous or serious."

Dr. Stern and her team are currently completing a five year follow up of the pilot study. "We are optimistic that this will prove to be an effective way of protecting fertility for women without the problems that have been associated with GnRH agonists in the past", she said. "The medical community needs to acknowledge the importance of future fertility for young people having cancer treatment. Not all patients who are having cancer treatment have the opportunity to talk with a fertility specialist before beginning treatment, and yet there are already several options for protecting the ovaries and even preserving eggs, embryos, or ovarian tissue. In addition to raising awareness among the medical profession, more support is needed for research in this important area."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. "New Research Holds Promise For Protecting Cancer Patients Against Infertility." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070703172310.htm>.
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2007, July 9). New Research Holds Promise For Protecting Cancer Patients Against Infertility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070703172310.htm
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. "New Research Holds Promise For Protecting Cancer Patients Against Infertility." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070703172310.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins