STUDY QUESTION: Which treatment-related factors are (dose-dependently) associated with abnormal hormonal and ultrasound markers of ovarian reserve in female childhood cancer survivors (CCSs)?
SUMMARY ANSWER: Cyclophosphamide, procarbazine, a composite group of 'other alkylating agents', dactinomycin, doxorubicin, mitoxantrone, spinal radiotherapy (RT), abdominal/pelvic RT and total body irradiation were multivariably associated with abnormal ovarian reserve markers, with dose-effect relationships being established for procarbazine and abdominal/pelvic RT.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Female childhood cancer survivors are at an increased risk of reduced ovarian function and reserve, but knowledge regarding the long-term effects of individual chemotherapeutic (CT) agents and radiotherapy fields and their respective doses is limited.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: The DCOG LATER-VEVO is a nationwide retrospective cohort study in which measurements were performed between 2008 and 2014. In total, 1749 female 5-year CCSs, diagnosed before age 18 years between 1963 and 2002 and 1201 controls were invited for the study.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Ovarian reserve was assessed by anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), inhibin B levels, and antral follicle counts (AFC). The study was a multicentre study including all seven Dutch Centers for Paediatric Oncology/Haematology.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: In total, 564 CCs and 390 controls participated in the clinical part of the study. Overall, 7.0-17.7% of CCSs and 2.4-13.6% of controls had abnormal ovarian reserve markers. Above age 35, significantly more CCSs than controls had abnormal ovarian reserve markers (AMH: 26% vs. 4%; AFC: 20% vs. 3%; inhibin B: 42% vs. 16%). For AMH and FSH, significant differences were also found below age 35. Cyclophosphamide, procarbazine, a group of 'other alkylating agents', dactinomycin, doxorubicin, mitoxantrone, spinal RT, abdominal/pelvic RT and total body irradiation were multivariably associated with at least one abnormal ovarian reserve marker. Dose-effect relationships were established for procarbazine and abdominal/pelvic RT.
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Despite the large scale of the study, dose-effect relationships could not be investigated for all types of treatment due to a limited numbers of participants for specific analyses.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: This study demonstrated that the majority of CCSs do not show signs of a reduced ovarian reserve. However, specific subgroups of CCSs appear to be associated with a high risk. Our results are important for counselling CCSs and future patients regarding parenthood and fertility preservation.
- childhood cancer survivors
- inhibin B
- antral follicle count
- ovarian reserve
- chemotherapeutic agents
- YOUNG-ADULT CANCER
- FEMALE SURVIVORS
- FERTILITY PRESERVATION