Acute onset of ovarian dysfunction in young females after start of cancer treatment


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.

  • The funders of the study had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the report. The corresponding author had full access to all the data in the study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication



Female childhood cancer survivors are at risk of ovarian failure and premature ovarian insufficiency. We hereby present an interim analysis of a prospective observational study of ovarian function during cancer treatment of young females in relation to clinical factors.


Thirty-four consecutive female cancer patients aged 0–18 year were included after informed consent. Serum/Plasma levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), inhibin B, FSH, LH, and oestradiol (E2) were measured at diagnosis and every 3–4 months during and after treatment.


All patients had detectable AMH levels at diagnosis. Eleven patients had reached menarche (mean age 14½ years) and the remaining patients had a mean age of 6½ years. They all showed a rapid decline in AMH after 3 months of treatment, regardless of AMH at diagnosis, age, menarche, or treatment given. Those given radiotherapy below the diaphragm and/or stem cell transplantation (SCT) (n = 9) had no ovarian recovery during or 1½-year after treatment. However, recovery was observed in those given standard treatment for acute lymphatic leukemia (n = 7) already during maintenance chemotherapy. For the remaining patients, longer follow-up is required for analysis of ovarian recovery after treatment.


Rapid ovarian dysfunction is observed in all females after initiation of cancer treatment as measured by AMH and inhibin B. Our data regarding those who require abdominal radiotherapy and/or SCT confirms the recommendations in the Nordic countries where these patients are eligible for cryopreservation of ovarian cortical tissue before start of cancer treatment. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013; 60: 676–681. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.