Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Preserving Fertility During Chemotherapy Using Available Cancer Drug



In addition to its use in preventing fertility problems in women being treated with chemotherapy, everolimus might also have potential in extending reproductive lifespan in women who experience early menopause.

Share this!

March 8, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

Everolimus, a drug used to slow tumor growth, could prevent chemotherapy-induced infertility, according to researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center. In a paper published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers detail how the drug provides a protective effect on the ovaries during chemotherapy.

The researchers tested the drug in mice who were given cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy agent commonly used to treat breast cancer. While cyclophosphamide can be effective, it has the undesirable side effect of depleting egg cells in the ovaries, thereby reducing future fertility.

Female mice treated with chemotherapy alongside everolimus were found to have two times the number of offspring, compared to mice given cyclophosphamide alone. According to the study authors, these encouraging preclinical results could quickly push the drug into clinical trials involving female cancer patients.

“Our results argue that everolimus may represent a fertility-sparing drug treatment to complement the freezing of eggs and embryos, which are valued methods, but time-consuming, costly, less effective with age, and not protective of long-term ovarian function,” said lead author, Dr. Kara Goldman, reproductive endocrinologist at NYU Langone. “Patients, including young girls, face devastating choices as they try to balance cancer treatment against their ability to have children in the future. We need more options.”

Along with testing everolimus in the mice, the researchers also studied an experimental drug, known as INK128. Both drugs slow tumor growth by inhibiting the actions of the enzyme, mTOR, which is involved in pro-cell growth signaling mechanisms.

Cyclophosphamide belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating chemotherapies, which targets and damages the DNA of rapidly growing cancer cells. This drug has also been found to promote mTOR, thereby speeding maturation and multiplication of ovarian follicles. Cyclophosphamide then targets these egg cells and damages their DNA, causing cell death of many of these cells.

To try to counteract this damaging effect on fertility, the researchers sought out to determine whether currently-available mTOR inhibitors could block this side effect of chemotherapy. On average, mice treated with chemotherapy and one of the mTOR inhibitors had 7.4 pups; mice treated with chemotherapy had just 3.4 pups.

Mice treated with cyclophosphamide alone also showed a 64 percent reduction in the number of primordial follicles, which could be prevented using mTOR inhibitors. In addition to its use in preventing fertility problems in women being treated with chemotherapy, everolimus might also have potential in extending reproductive lifespan in women who experience early menopause.

“Only clinical trial results will tell whether these drugs can protect fertility and counter hormonal deficits naturally by preserving follicles,” said senior author Dr. Robert Schneider, the Albert B. Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis and associate dean for Biomedical Innovation at NYU Langone. “Our goal is to complete studies on the best dose for ovarian preservation, and then to get everolimus into a trial for this use next year.”

Keywords: Fertility, Chemotherapy, Cancer


Share this with your colleagues!

Better Meal Planning for Diabetics Using a Predictive Blood Sugar App

April 21, 2017 - A new app could allow people with type 2 diabetes to make predictions about the impact of a meal on their blood sugar levels, before they even take a bite.

Featured In: Life Science News

Bacterial Biomarkers Could Make Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer Less Invasive

April 20, 2017 - Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health have identified specific strains of gut bacteria which have been associated with colorectal cancer.

Featured In: Life Science News

Weetabix Cereal Sold to Post in £1.4 Billion Deal

April 20, 2017 - The cereal was sold by Shanghai-based Bright Food, which acquired a controlling stake in the company in 2012.

Featured In: Food News


What Medical Device Manufacturers Need to Know Before Developing a Biological Safety Evaluation


Electronic Informed Consent: 2017 Industry Survey Results

Critical CRO Oversight Metrics: How to Establish the Right Metrics and Monitor them in Real-Time

The Modernization of eCOA Technology for Clinical Trials

Developing a Biological Safety Evaluation

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.