Correlation between fertility drugs use and malignant melanoma incidence: the state of the art

Federica Tomao, Anselmo Papa, Giuseppe Lo Russo, Sara Zuber, Gian Paolo Spinelli, Luigi Rossi, Davide Caruso, Natalie Prinzi, Valeria Stati, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici, Silverio Tomao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between fertility, reproductive hormones, and risk of malignant melanoma has acquired much interest in recent years. Melanocytes are hormonally responsive cells, and some in vitro studies demonstrated that estrogen hormones stimulate the growth of melanocytes. Moreover, estrogen receptors have been identified in melanoma cells, as well as in melanocytic nevi and in normal skin. Some evidences suggest a possible link between fertility treatments and the increased risk of malignant melanoma. This article addresses this association through a scrupulous search of the literature published thus far. The aim of this review is to determine the incidence of malignant melanoma in women treated with fertility drugs and to examine if the exposure to fertility treatments really increases the risk of malignant melanoma. In particular, our analysis focused on the different types of drugs and different treatment schedules used. Finally, this study provides additional insights regarding the long-term relationships between fertility drugs and the risk of malignant melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8415-8424
Number of pages10
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 9 2014


  • Fertility drugs
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Infertility
  • Invasive melanoma
  • Ovarian stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Medicine(all)


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