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Drug helps cancer women get pregnant

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Updated: 5/30/2014 11:08 pm

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (NBC News) -- Young breast cancer patients are often faced with the difficult decision of choosing treatment that will kill their cancer, but as a result will also kill their ability to get pregnant.

Now a new study suggests giving women a drug that quiets their ovaries during chemotherapy may preserve their fertility.

Christy Wolford was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was twenty-eight.

Just months after getting married and having her first child, her daughter Lauren.

"There was no option for me to do anything but to figure out how to beat this and beat this the best i could, for her," Wolford said.

Christy went through a double mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy.

It's a treatment that renders a majority of patients infertile.

But Christy participated in a clinical trial that added the drug Goserelin to her regimen.

"It essentially shuts down ovarian activity while the patients are on chemotherapy," Dr. Sharon Giordano said.

More than one hundred women participated in the study.

Researchers found those given the drug were less likely to experience ovarian failure and more likely to get pregnant after chemo.

There were sixteen healthy pregnancies among the women given Goserelin, compared to seven among those not treated.

"It is an exciting study because it does add another option for our young breast cancer patients, and even though the data we have isn't perfect, at least it gives us some evidence that there's something you can do to help preserve your fertility," Dr. Giordano said.

Christy and her husband Bubba have had three boys since her treatment ended and they give the drug full credit.

The study only looked at women with estrogen receptor negative breast cancer.

Many of the participants had what's called "triple negative" breast cancer.

-- Erika Edwards reports



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