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Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists during chemotherapy for ovarian function and fertility preservation for patients with early-stage breast cancer

Authors Abdel-Razeq H

Received 3 February 2019

Accepted for publication 27 March 2019

Published 8 May 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 4273—4282


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chien-Feng Li

Hikmat Abdel-Razeq

Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Hematology and Medical Oncology, King Hussein Cancer Center and School of Medicine, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Abstract: Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women worldwide. Many patients, especially in our region, are affected while young and during their child-bearing years. Chemotherapy, more commonly used in this age group, may result in premature ovarian failure and thus negatively impact their fertility. Several fertility-preservation methods are currently in use in this age group. Unfertilized ova cryopreservation and in vitro fertilization plus embryo cryopreservation are widely used in clinical practice. More recently, ovarian tissue cryopreservation is gaining in popularity. Several clinical trials and meta-analyses have shown that premenopausal women who received ovarian function suppression with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists while on chemotherapy were less likely to experience ovarian failure and had higher rates of menses resumption compared to those who did not. Some studies have also shown higher rates of successful pregnancies among treated patients. Given the conflicting results of the reported clinical trials and even the many published meta-analyses, this approach continues to be controversial and should only be used when other established fertility preservation methods cannot be utilized. The current review seeks to provide an updated summary on this controversial topic by reviewing all recently published clinical trials and meta-analyses.

Keywords: fertility preservation, breast cancer, pregnancy, premenopausal patients, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, premature ovarian failure

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