Drug can protect breast cancer sufferers’ ovaries

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A commonly used drug can help young women with breast cancer retain the ability to have babies, apparently protecting their ovaries from the damage caused by chemotherapy, reports [s]The New York Times[/s]. The treatment could provide a new option for dealing with one of the painful dilemmas faced by young cancer patients – that doing the utmost to save their lives might impair or even ruin their fertility.

Researchers said the drug, goserelin, which temporarily shuts down the ovaries, appears to protect women from the more permanent premature menopause that can be induced by chemotherapy. The report says the [b]American Society of Clinical Oncology’s[/b] guidelines say there is insufficient evidence that the approach is effective and that it ‘should not be relied on to preserve fertility.’ But, Dr Ann Partridge, a breast cancer spec ialist at the [b]Dana-Farber Cancer Institute[/b] in [b]Boston[/b], co-author of the study and on the society committee, said she though the guidelines would have to be reviewed in light of the new study.

Full report in The New York Times
ASCO meeting abstract

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