[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 26, 1979

Cytotoxic-lnduced Ovarian Failure in Women With Hodgkin's Disease: I. Hormone Function

Author Affiliations

From the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Department of Medical Oncology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London.

JAMA. 1979;242(17):1877-1881. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300170023020

Forty-one women with advanced Hodgkin's disease were studied to determine the effect of combination chemotherapy on fertility and ovarian function. Histories and pretreatment ovarian biopsy specimens indicated normal fertility before therapy, thus implying no adverse effect of Hodgkin's disease on female gonadal function. Ovarian activity was assessed after therapy by menstrual history, serial basal body temperatures, and hormonal levels. Each case was assigned to one of three categories: primary ovarian failure (failed ovary), irregular ovarian activity (failing ovary), and normal cyclic ovarian activity (functioning ovary). After therapy, 20 of 41 patients (49%) were categorized as failed, 14 (34%) as failing, and only 7 (17%) as functioning. In 16 months of further observation, progressive loss of ovarian function occurred that was clearly age related but not statistically dose related. Induction of premature, irreversible menopause presents a need for effective hormonal replacement and patient counseling.

(JAMA 242:1877-1881, 1979)