Biomedical Sciences


New paper in Reproduction

Congratulations to the Spears Lab, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, for their new paper published in the journal Reproduction, which provides new insights into the effects of chemotherapy drugs on the human ovary.

Infertility resulting from chemotherapy treatment is a growing concern. Despite that, there are relatively few studies examining the effects of chemotherapy drugs on the human ovary, with most knowledge about the damaging effects coming from research using rodent models.

Our latest paper (Lopes et al) examines the direct effect of two drugs that are commonly administered to prepubertal and young adult female cancer patients, cisplatin and doxorubicin. There are two aspects of the papers that we believe will be of particular interest.

Firstly, while most laboratory research to date has examined the effect of single drugs, or less often looked at effects of multi-drug administration but without examination of possible interactive effects between the drugs, patients are of course routinely administered multi-drug combinations: given that co-administration of drugs can result in complex interactive effects between them, it is important to be able to examine both single and combined effects, which is what this paper has done.

Secondly, with the majority of published work using the mouse as a model, there is a pressing need to determine how good the mouse ovary is as a model for the human ovary for this kind of work: by examining the effects of the drugs on both the human and mouse ovary, we have been able to determine this directly, with the paper showing the effectiveness of the mouse model for this area of reproductive toxicology.


Further information

View the article in Reproduction

Prof Norah Spears lab profile

Study Physiology at the University of Edinburgh