Chemo Drug in Pregnancy May Cause Early Menopause in Daughters

Chemo Drug in Pregnancy May Cause Early Menopause in Daughters

The University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom finds that etoposide – a chemotherapy drug used to treat lung cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma – may affect the future fertility of unborn baby girls.

Etoposide works by blocking an enzyme, which is necessary for cancer cells to divide and grow into two new cells. If this enzyme is blocked, the cell’s DNA becomes tangled, and the cell can no longer divide.

According to Cancer Research UK, between 1-10 in every 100 people experience infertility due to the use of etoposide.Chemotherapy can stop the ovaries from producing eggs temporarily or sometimes permanently, and some people experience early menopause.

Chemotherapy administration during the first trimester up to 12-14 weeks is often avoided, as it is associated with increased risk of congenital malformations and high risk of spontaneous abortion.

During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy from 4-9 months chemotherapy treatment if considered to be relatively safe for the developing fetus with several studies showing no birth defects in infants born to women receiving chemotherapy at that time.

However, this research shows that etoposide damages the development of lab-grown mouse ovary tissue and affects specialized cells – called germ cells – that lead to egg production. Further studies are needed to observe if the same effect is true in human tissue… Read More>>

Source: Medical News Today

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