New breast cancer drug depletes store of immature eggs in mouse ovaries

Dr Amy Winship
Dr Amy Winship

The news that a Monash BDI study found that the new breast cancer drug, olaparib, depletes the store of immature eggs in mouse ovaries was widely reported. The study, on which the BDI’s Dr Amy Winship was first author, was published in Human Reproduction, one of the world’s leading reproductive medicine journals. Dr Winship works in last author Associate Professor Karla Hutt’s lab. The research shows that olaparib destroys a significant proportion (36%) of the immature eggs contained in structures called primordial follicles. Its authors say the drug is being used to treat young as well as older women with breast cancer that is driven by mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes, but without knowing its effect on fertility. They recommended that fertility preservation counselling should be considered for young women before treatment. The study was reported by Infosurhoy, Brinkwire, ecancer, TalkTalk, SCIENMAG, Yahoo!, MedicalXpress and BrightSurf.