July 24, 2024

Study Disputes The Effectiveness Of Ovarian Protection Drugs During Cancer Treatment

A recent study conducted by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has questioned the effectiveness of a commonly used drug to protect the ovaries of women undergoing chemotherapy. The study, published in eClinicalMedicine, found no evidence to support the notion that the drug increases the chances of women having children after cancer treatment.

The drug in question is called GnRH agonist, and it is often prescribed to women with breast cancer and other types of cancer during their chemotherapy treatments. Previous small-scale trials had suggested that the drug could prevent amenorrhea (the absence of menstrual periods) and preserve fertility. However, these trials were unable to evaluate the likelihood of women being able to conceive after cancer treatment.

One of the limitations of the previous studies is that they were not blinded, meaning that all participants knew whether they were receiving the drug or not. This led to a potential bias, as those who received the drug may have been more motivated to try to conceive than those who did not.

To address these limitations, the new study utilized Swedish population-based registers to compare the probability of post-cancer live birth in nearly 25,000 women aged 15-45 who underwent chemotherapy. Out of these women, 1.5% also received additional treatment with a GnRH agonist.

After adjusting for factors such as age, type of cancer, and previous pregnancies, the researchers found no significant difference in the likelihood of having children during the follow-up years between the two groups.

Dr. Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg, the study’s first author and an adjunct professor at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, stated that this study is the largest and most comprehensive to date on this topic. He emphasized that it challenges the current practice of using GnRH agonists as a measure to protect fertility in women with cancer.

The study’s last author, Frida Lundberg, a research specialist at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, added that more rigorous placebo-controlled and double-blinded randomized clinical trials are required to evaluate the efficacy of this type of drug for fertility protection.

While the study’s findings indicate that GnRH agonists may not be as effective in preserving fertility as previously believed, it is important to note that further research is needed to fully understand the potential implications. Cancer patients should consult with their healthcare providers before making any decisions regarding their fertility preservation options.

In conclusion, this study casts doubt on the effectiveness of ovarian protection drugs during cancer treatment and highlights the need for more comprehensive clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of these drugs.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it