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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Sep;1205:214-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05668.x.

Fertility drugs and ovarian cancer risk: a critical review of the literature.

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  • 1Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aretaieio Hospital, University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.


There is evidence that medications used for ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization may be associated with ovarian cancer. In this review, we attempt to describe this relationship according to the most recent epidemiologic data and to present the possible mechanisms on the molecular level that could potentially explain this correlation. Currently there is no proven relationship between any type of ovarian cancer and drugs used for infertility treatment. Overall, infertile women have increased risk for ovarian malignancies. Nulligravidas that received treatment are at increased risk for ovarian malignancy as compared to women that conceived after treatment. More studies with the appropriate statistical power and follow-up time, as well as with better adjustment for confounding factors, which coexist in infertile patients, are required to evaluate accurately the long-term effects of these drugs and procedures.

© 2010 New York Academy of Sciences.

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