Late Effects of the Reproductive System
Ovarian function was evaluated in women treated with drug combinations that did not include procarbazine. Ovarian function was normal in all of six women treated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma with a cyclophosphamide containing drug combination. Others reported that pubertal progression was adversely affected in 5.8% of 17 patients treated before puberty compared with 33.3% of 18 patients treated during puberty or after menarche. However, the administration of cyclophosphamide did not correlate with the abnormal pubertal progression observed in these patients. Administration of ifosfamide 27 g/m2 to 90 g/m2 to 13 females resulted in evidence of impaired estrogen production in only one patient. Cisplatin administration resulted in amenorrhea in 14% of seven patients.
All women who received high-dose (50 mg/kg/day x 4 days) cyclophosphamide prior to BMT for aplastic anemia developed amenorrhea following transplantation. In one series, 36 of 43 women had recovery of normal ovarian function 3 to 42 months after transplantation, including all of the 27 patients who were between ages 13 and 25 years at the time of BMT.
Of 3,390 eligible participants in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), 215 (6.3%) developed acute ovarian failure (AOF). Survivors with AOF were older (aged 13-20 years vs. aged 0-12 years) at cancer diagnosis and more likely to have been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma or to have received abdominal or pelvic radiation therapy than survivors without AOF. Of survivors who developed AOF, 75% had received abdominal-pelvic irradiation. Radiation doses to the ovary of at least 2,000 cGy were associated with the highest rate of AOF with over 70% of such patients developing AOF. In a multivariable logistic regression model, increasing doses of ovarian irradiation, exposure to procarbazine at any age, and exposure to cyclophosphamide at ages 13 to 20 years were independent risk factors for AOF.
The presence of apparently normal ovarian function at the completion of chemotherapy should not be interpreted as evidence that no ovarian injury has occurred. Premature menopause is well documented in childhood cancer survivors, especially in women treated with both an alkylating agent and abdominal irradiation.[44,45,46] A total of 126 childhood cancer survivors and 33 control siblings who participated in the CCSS developed premature menopause. Of these women, 61 survivors (48%) and 31 siblings (94%) had surgically-induced menopause (relative risk [RR] = 0.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.52-1.23). However, the cumulative incidence of nonsurgical premature menopause was substantially higher for survivors than for siblings (8% vs. 0.8%; RR = 13.21; 95% CI, 3.26-53.51; P < .001).
A multiple Poisson regression model showed that risk factors for nonsurgical premature menopause included attained age, exposure to increasing doses of radiation to the ovaries, increasing alkylating agent dose (AAD) score, and a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma. For survivors who were treated with alkylating agents plus abdominal-pelvic radiation, the cumulative incidence of nonsurgical premature menopause approached 30%.