According to researchers in the study, the IUD delivers hormones that may halt endometrial cancer.
Women suffering from endometrial cancer often undergo a radical hysterectomy to remove the ovaries and all reproductive organs. This treatment is highly effective when performed early in the disease process. However, the hysterectomy leaves women infertile and thus unable to conceive children. Using the IUD that delivers hormones, doctors may be able to stave off progression of endometrial cancer long enough for women with the disease to conceive and give birth before having a complete hysterectomy.
The study included 39 females between the ages of 20 and 40. About ½ of the women were diagnosed with AEH or atypical endometrial hyperplasia, a precursor condition to endometrial cancer. These women did not test positive for cancer. The remaining women were in early stage endometrial cancer that had not spread to the uterine lining.
An IUD was implanted that released levonorgestrel, a progesterone-like hormone. The IUD was left in place for one year. If the tumor or cancer has not grown during that time, the IUD was removed and women were allowed to attempt conception. All but one of the patients with AEH responded immediately to treatment, but four later relapsed. Six of the patients with endometrial cancer responded to treatment after two relapses were taken into consideration.
Nine of the patients involved in the study were able to conceive and give birth to health infants.
Source: L. Minig, D. Franchi, S. Boveri, C. Casadio, L. Bocciolone and M. Sideri. Annals of Oncology. 29 September, 2010.