Drug Used to Treat Breast Cancer May Also Save Lives of Rare Uterine Cancer Patients

Adding the monoclonal antibody drug trastuzumab—already used to treat certain breast cancers—to the chemotherapy regimen of women with a rare form of uterine cancer lengthens the amount of time their tumors are kept from growing, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conducting a small phase II trial of the regimen, testing its safety and value.

Nurses and Other Medical Professionals Exposed to Disinfectants May Find it Harder to Conceive

While healthcare providers come into contact with many risks to their own health, they probably don’t suspect that the chemicals they use to sterilize equipment and surfaces could be affecting their reproductive health. Researchers presenting their work today at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine have shown otherwise, identifying an occupational risk to female nurses’ fertility: exposure to high-level disinfectants.

New Technique May Preserve Fertility in Young Girls Undergoing Chemotherapy

Belgian researchers have found that a triple-wash technique is effective for cleansing antral follicles (egg-containing cells) isolated from ovarian tissue contaminated with malignant cells, while maintaining the follicles’ viability. This is an essential step in developing a process to preserve fertility for young girls who must undergo chemotherapy to treat childhood cancer, particularly leukemia.

Low-Carb Diets May Worsen Fertility by Lowering Testosterone in Pre-Menopausal Women

A diet high in protein, especially animal protein, is significantly associated with reduced testosterone levels in healthy women. Research supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine suggests that, in healthy pre-menopausal women, consumption of high levels of protein- especially animal protein- is inversely related to testosterone levels.

Intense Menopausal Symptoms of HIV Positive Women Are Most Often Not Addressed

Twenty-three women, African American, with an average age of 47, living with HIV for 13 and a half years on average, who had had at least one menstrual period in the last year were interviewed and completed a questionnaire addressing psychological, somatic and vasomotor symptoms. All of the women reported hot flashes; 78% had trouble sleeping two or three times a week; and 78% felt tired. When asked, 87% of the women reported that they had talked to their primary care physician about their symptoms, but only 20% of them received any treatment.

Older Women Lose Much of Their Advantage in Living Active Lives

“Women are more likely than men to develop a number of debilitating conditions including arthritis, depressive symptoms, fall-related fractures, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias that have implications for active life,” Freedman said. “Enhanced attention to these and other preventable causes of limitations among older women could extend active life and help offset impending long-term care pressures related to population aging.”