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ISRN Oncol. 2012;2012:956190. doi: 10.5402/2012/956190. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Ovarian reserve in women treated for acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute myeloid leukemia with chemotherapy, but not stem cell transplantation.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA ; University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, Suite 310, 1000 Auburn Drive, Beachwood, OH 44122, USA.



It is well known that chemotherapy regimens may have a negative effect on ovarian reserve, leading to amenorrhea or premature ovarian failure. There are little data regarding the effects of leukemia chemotherapy on ovarian reserve, specifically in women who received the chemotherapy as adults and are having regular menstrual periods. Our primary objective was to determine if premenopausal women with a history of chemotherapy for leukemia, without subsequent stem cell transplantation, have decreased ovarian reserve.


We measured ovarian reserve in five women who had been treated for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and compared them to age-matched control women without a history of chemotherapy.


There appeared to be a trend towards lower antimullerian hormone and antral follicle counts and higher follicle-stimulating hormone levels in the leukemia group.


Our results indicate that chemotherapy for AML or ALL without stem cell transplantation may compromise ovarian reserve. Although our results should be confirmed by a larger study, oncologists, infertility specialists, and patients should be aware of the potential risks to ovarian function and should be counseled on options for fertility preservation.

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