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Hormone May Predict Infertility After Chemotherapy

Inhibin A may forecast premature ovarian failure in breast cancer patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the ovarian hormone Inhibin A in early-stage breast cancer patients may predict which women will become infertile after chemotherapy, researchers reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Carey Anders, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues investigated serum levels in premenopausal women as part of an ongoing study of Inhibin levels before, immediately after and six months after anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Serum was also collected before and six months after chemotherapy from premenopausal women in another study who underwent an exercise regimen.

After analyzing serum for Inhibin A, Inhibin B, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and estradiol, the researchers found that women who became infertile had lower levels of Inhibin A before and after chemotherapy. Premature ovarian failure was defined as not resuming menstruation by six months after chemotherapy.

"Developing predictive markers of premature ovarian failure will be invaluable to premenopausal women and their clinicians as they face therapy for early-stage breast cancer," the authors write. "Our results indicate that changes in serum markers, in particular Inhibin A, from pre- to post-chemo could serve as very important predictors for premature ovarian failure."

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