The possible role of infertility drugs in later malignancy: A review

Moshe Schaffer, Pamela Manuela Schaffer, Riad Kassem, Izhar Ben Shlomo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Some 15% of all couples in the industrialized world suffer from infertility. Accordingly, any possible life-long morbidity that may result from treatments for infertility presents a significant concern to public health. The use of medications for infertility is specifically relevant to their possible effects on the classical target tissues for hormones involved in the sex axes, i.e., uterus, ovaries, and breast, but may have an effect on other organs, which harbor receptors for some of the hormones involved in reproduction. When one deals with the effect of treatment for infertility on the occurrence of malignant conditions, there is no doubt that certain malignancies tend to occur more frequently in women who suffered from and/or were treated for infertility. Objective: To review the accumulated data on the association of treatments for infertility with subsequent malignancies both in the classical target organs of sex steroids and in non-target organs. Methods: Systematic compilation of the relevant literature. Results & Conclusion: Contrary to popular believes, treatment for infertility is associated with very little increase in malignacies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-859
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Clomiphene citrate
  • Epidemiology
  • Gonadotropins
  • Infertility
  • Malignancy
  • Risk for malignancy


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