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Milestones in Medicine: Premenopausal Patients With Breast Cancer and Fertility Preservation
Volume 1
Issue 1

Dr. Lambertini on the Effect of GnRH Agonists on Ovarian Function in Breast Cancer

Matteo Lambertini, MD, discusses how GnRH agonists work to preserve ovarian function in premenopausal patients with breast cancer.

Matteo Lambertini, MD, assistant professor and consultant, medical oncology, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, University of Genova, in Genova, Italy, discusses how GnRH agonists work to preserve ovarian function in premenopausal patients with breast cancer.

GnRH agonists can be utilized during chemotherapy to help preserve ovarian function in premenopausal patients with breast cancer. GnRH agonists suppress ovarian function by shutting down activity in the ovaries, making them less sensitive to the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy, Lambertini explains.

However, it is still not known exactly why GnRH agonists can protect ovarian tissue during chemotherapy, Lambertini adds. Preclinical studies, including mouse models, have observed this protective mechanism for ovarian function, Lambertini continues, adding that how they work is still up for debate. While the exact mechanism of action remains unknown, the main hypothesis remains that GnRH agonists can shut down ovarian function to reduce sensitivity to the toxicity of chemotherapy, Lambertini concludes.

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