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

Dr. Partridge on the Utilization of GnRH Agonists in Breast Cancer

Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH, discusses the utilization of GnRH agonists to preserve ovarian function in premenopausal patients with breast cancer.

Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH, physician, vice chair, Medical Oncology, founder and director, Program for Young Adults with Breast Cancer, director, Adult Survivorship Program, Eric P. Winer, MD, chair in Breast Cancer Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, senior physician, professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discusses the utilization of GnRH agonists to preserve ovarian function in premenopausal patients with breast cancer.

GnRH agonists represent the only current available modality to protect ovarian function in premenopausal patients with breast cancer who are treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy, including anything containing cyclophosphamide, Partridge says. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the use of GnRH agonists prior to the administration of chemotherapy helps maintain the ability for patients to have a baby if they still want to become pregnant, Partridge explains.

However, data for fertility with the use of GnRH agonists are still limited and appear to apply to women under the age of 40, Partridge continues. Alternatives to managing ovarian toxicity related to chemotherapy in this patient population include egg harvesting, Partridge concludes.

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