Most fertility drugs pose no colorectal cancer risk | Latest news for doctors, nurses and pharmacists
According to one study, the use of most types of fertility drugs does not appear to put infertile women at risk of developing colorectal cancer.
The study used data from the Danish Infertility Cohort and included all infertile women between the ages of 20 and 45 living in Denmark between 1995 and 2017. The researchers obtained information regarding the use of specific types of medication against fertility, colorectal cancer diagnoses, covariates, and vital status, applying Cox proportional hazard models in their analysis.
A total of 148,036 women were included in the final analysis, of whom 205 were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Compared with non-use, clomiphene citrate use was associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR]0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51–0.89; Adjusted RR, 0.68, 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.93).
However, the lowest incidence of cancer associated with the use of clomiphene citrate was observed only in women who started treatment more than 8 years ago (unadjusted RR, 0.56, 95 CI %, 0.41 to 0.76; adjusted RR, 0.52, 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.75) .
None of the other types of fertility drugs have shown an association with colorectal cancer.
In an analysis that assessed cancers of the colon and rectum separately, the results were consistent except for a trend for a decreased risk of rectal cancer associated with gonadotropin use (adjusted RR, 0.46 , 95% CI, 0.20 to 1.08).
The researchers acknowledged that the rectal cancer findings may be related to underlying conditions in infertile women or are incidental findings. They called for large epidemiological studies to validate the results of the present study.