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Effects of Fertility Drugs on Cancers

Risks in addition to breast, gynecologic malignancies

The risk of melanoma and thyroid cancer among patients receiving fertility drugs warrants continued monitoring, according to a cohort study of 12,193 women evaluated for fertility between 1965 and 1988. A total of 9,892 women were followed through 2010. Researchers found:

• 91 colorectal cancers, 84 lung cancers, 55 thyroid cancers, and 70 melanomas were diagnosed during 30 median years follow-up.

• Clomiphene citrate (CC) was used by 38.1% of patients and was related significantly to melanoma (HR=1.95).

• Highest melanoma risks occurred in subjects with the lowest drug exposure levels, but thyroid cancer risk was greatest among the heavily exposed patients (HR=1.96) for those receiving ≥2,250 mg.

Citation: Brinton LA, Moghissi KS, Scoccia B, et al. Effects of fertility drugs on cancers other than breast and gynecologic malignancies. Fertility and Sterility. [Published online ahead of print, July 29, 2015]. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.06.045.