Alice Wen-Ron Lee, Ph.D.
California State University Fullerton
Fullerton, CA, United States
Project: Exploring the impact of infertility and its treatments on risk of ovarian cancer
Research Area: Prevention, Cancer Biology
Some studies have previously indicated that there may be a relationship between infertility and ovarian cancer risk, but this connection is very poorly understood. Infertility is a significant public health problem in the United States and an increasing percentage of women have experienced infertility issues over the last decade. Women who have never given birth are at an increased risk of ovarian cancer. This group includes both infertile women who cannot have a baby as well as fertile women who choose not to have a baby. In addition, drugs used to treat infertility and the underlying causes of infertility may pose different risks for ovarian cancer. Teasing apart these effects has been a challenge given that the previously conducted studies were done with small numbers of patients and limited infertility information. Dr. Lee proposes to clarify infertility’s relationship with the risk of ovarian cancer by doing the largest analysis of comprehensive infertility data to date, using 14 epidemiologic studies participating in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). The findings from this study will help us better understand the significance of infertility and infertility treatment for ovarian cancer risk.