June 2013

Preventing Eggs’ Death from Chemotherapy

Scientists discover cause of immature eggs’ death from cancer drug and how to prevent it

MEDIA CONTACT: Marla Paul at (312) 503-8928 or marla-paul@northwestern.edu

CHICAGO — Young women who have cancer treatment often lose their fertility because chemotherapy and radiation can damage or kill their immature ovarian eggs, called oocytes. Now, Northwestern Medicine® scientists have found the molecular pathway that can prevent the death of immature ovarian eggs due to chemotherapy, potentially preserving fertility and endocrine function.

Scientists achieved this in female mice by adding a currently approved chemotherapy drug, imatinib mesylate, to another chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

The results will be presented Monday, June 17, at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Report adverse reactions to drugs!

Did you know that most adverse drug side effects that are reported are done so by women?  This is why we advocate so strongly for the inclusion of males AND females in all animal and human drug studies.  It’s important that consumers report any bad experiences to the FDA!

A new consumer-friendly form is now available for making reports to MedWatch, FDA’s on-line system for collecting information about serious problems with drugs, medical devices and other FDA-regulated products.

Post-Trauma Women: Victims of Gender Bias

Think men and women receive equal care after traumas? Think again.  A recent study found that women are less likely than men to receive trauma treatment after severe injuries.  Dr. Andrea Hill of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto’s research on gender-based inequalities found that, across all age groups, 20-30% fewer women are cared for after traumas.  The study and analysis were conducted by observing 99,000 adult patients throughout Canada.

If infertility is an issue, share your journey!

I think women want to feel independent, that we can conquer the world on our own.  Sometimes it can be hard to ask for help.

Having issues getting pregnant can be one of those times.  Most of us assume that it’s easy; you get off birth control, have sex, and you’re pregnant! However, for many women, especially those who delay their first pregnancy until they are older,  getting pregnant can be anything but easy.