Breast cancer risk after exposure to fertility drugs

Giuseppe Lo Russo, Gian Paolo Spinelli, Silverio Tomao, Belardino Rossi, Luigi Frati, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici, Patrizia Vici, Giovanni Codacci Pisanelli, Federica Tomao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, there has been an increase in the diagnosis of infertility. In industrialized countries, approximately 15% of couples experience this problem today, with a negative impact on quality of life. For this reason, assisted reproductive technologies and other treatments, finalized to overcome infertility, have become very common in clinical practice. For a long time, different ovulation-inducing drugs have been used for ovarian follicle stimulation, either as independent therapies or treatments used during in vitro fertilization cycles. Despite this long-term use, the medical care for infertility gave rise to a lively debate about the potential risk of developing breast cancer that has never been settled. Many studies have been conducted to address this question; but their results have been, and still are, contradictory. The aim of this review is to determine the potential link between the use of fertility drugs and the risk of developing breast cancer in women treated for infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • breast cancer risk
  • clomiphene citrate
  • fertility drugs
  • in vitro fertilization
  • ovarian stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Oncology


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