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Cancer

Drugs preserve fertility of girls receiving chemo (Reuters)

13 years, 5 months ago

825  0
Posted on Jun 08, 2005, 10 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Reuters - Although effective againstvarious cancers, chemotherapy can damage the ovaries, possiblycausing a permanent loss of fertility. Now, new research showsthat treatment with two drugs can protect the ovaries from thetoxic effects of chemotherapy, allowing these patients tobecome pregnant in the future.

Reuters - Although effective againstvarious cancers, chemotherapy can damage the ovaries, possiblycausing a permanent loss of fertility. Now, new research showsthat treatment with two drugs can protect the ovaries from thetoxic effects of chemotherapy, allowing these patients tobecome pregnant in the future.

The drugs, known as D-Trp6-GNRHa and cetrorelix, work by blocking the hormone signals that stimulate the ovaries to function. As a result, the ovaries become more like those seen in girls who have not yet reached puberty. Previous reports have shown that the ovaries of these prepubertal girls are more resistant to the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

At a briefing with reporters at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego, Dr. Marta Snajderova, from University Hospital-Motol in Prague, Czech Republic, noted that her team tested the two drugs on 19 teenage girls who were about to begin chemotherapy for leukemia or related cancers.

Ovary protection was achieved in all of the girls within 96 hours, allowing the prompt initiation of chemotherapy. Other methods of ovary protection can take 14 to 18 days before the desired effect is achieved, which is prohibitive in many instances. "With our protocol, we shorten this time significantly," Snajderova said.

Of the nine girls who completed chemotherapy and the ovary protection protocol, seven have resumed normal menstrual cycles, suggesting that their ovaries were, in fact, protected from serious damage.

"These preliminary results are very promising," Snajderova said. If confirmed in a larger population, this treatment protocol could be routinely considered for fertility preservation in young fertile women receiving chemotherapy where there is a high risk of permanent ovary damage and loss of fertility, she added.


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