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The Clinical Value and Interpretation of Anti-Müllerian Hormone in Women With Cancer

Richard A Anderson 1H Irene Su 2

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.574263. eCollection 2020.


Cancer treatments can be damaging to the ovary, with implications for future fertility and reproductive lifespan. There is therefore a need for a biomarker than can usefully provide an assessment of the ovary and its potential for long-term function after cancer treatment, and ideally also be of value pre-treatment, for the prediction of post-treatment function. In this review we assess the value of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) in this context. Measurement of AMH at the time of cancer diagnosis has been shown to be predictive of whether or not there will remain some ovarian function post-treatment in women with breast cancer, in conjunction with age. AMH may however be reduced at the time of diagnosis in some conditions, including lymphoma, but probably not in women with breast cancer unless they are carriers of BRCA1 mutations. Following chemotherapy, AMH is often much reduced compared to pretreatment levels, with recovery dependent on the chemotherapy regimen administered, the woman’s age, and her pretreatment AMH. Recent data show there may be a long duration of relative stability of AMH levels over 10 to 15 years prior to decline rather than a rapid decline for many young women after cancer. Post-treatment AMH may have utility in determining that ovarian function will not recover, contributing to assessment of the need for ovarian suppression in women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer. AMH measurement provides an index of treatment gonadotoxicity, allowing comparison of different treatment regimens, although extrapolation to effects on fertility requires caution, and there are very limited data regarding the use of AMH to estimate time to menopause in the post-cancer setting.