The UK's Press Association (9/29) reports, "A device more commonly associated with contraception could be used to treat cancer in women who want to preserve their fertility," according to a paper in the Annals of Oncology.
The clinical trial included "39 women aged between 20 and 40" who had "very early womb cancer," BBC News (9/29, Roberts) reports. Each participant "was fitted with an" intrauterine device, or IUD, "that released a steady stream of a progesterone-like hormone aimed at halting the cancer growth." The "women also received a monthly injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone for six months to stop them producing estrogen -- the hormone that promotes the development of endometrial cancer."
Nearly "all of the patients with atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH) were cured by a year's exposure to the implantable intrauterine device (IUD)," MedPage Today (9/28, Smith) reported. "As well, 57.1% of women with well-differentiated endometrial cancer limited to the endometrium had a complete response to the therapy." What's more, "of 27 women who had a complete response to the treatment, nine went on to have a total of 11 spontaneous pregnancies."
Study author Dr. Lucas Minig pointed out that "treatment with levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs is ideally suited to young patients who may not want to have children immediately but would like to have the opportunity to have them in the future," the UK's Telegraph (9/29, smith) reported. WebMD (9/28, Boyles) also covered the study.