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This Week in JAMA: Jul 20, 2011

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In JAMA this week, a team of researchers in Italy presents findings from a study of the effects of triptorelin — a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog — on the occurrence of chemotherapy-induced early menopause in women with breast cancer. To determine if triptorelin's temporary ovarian suppression effect changed the rate of early menopause during chemotherapy, the team studied 281 premenopausal breast cancer patients and randomly assigned them to receive either chemotherapy alone or with triptorelin. The researchers found that the rate of early menopause in the chemotherapy group was 25.9 percent 12 months after chemotherapy was complete, compared to 8.9 percent in the triptorelin group.

Also in JAMA this week, the University of California, San Francisco's Hope Rugo and Mitchell Rosen write that about 35 percent of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer are 54 years or younger, and that 12 percent are younger than 45, making it important for clinicians to address younger patient's concerns about long-term effects of chemotherapy, like loss of fertility and early menopause. Current chemotherapy regimens generally have less ovarian toxicity, the authors write, but recovery of menses can be delayed for up to two years in some women. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists have been thought to protect against chemotherapy-induced "ovarian failure," they add, but the most effective option for preservation of fertility in young female cancer patients is still "assisted reproductive technology with embryo or oocyte cryopreservation." This option should be discussed with and offered to cancer patients before they undergo chemotherapy, Rugo and Rosen write.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.