Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Checking ovarian reserves after checkpoint blockade

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are effective for many cancers but can be limited by inflammatory toxicities. Little is known about how ICIs affect the reproductive system. New research in animal models with and without tumours demonstrates that ovarian reserves are depleted in mice treated with ICIs, which may influence fertility.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Ovaries contain a small number of TRM and TEM cells at baseline.


  1. Pauken, K. E., Dougan, M., Rose, N. R., Lichtman, A. H. & Sharpe, A. H. Trends Immunol. 40, 511–523 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Dougan, M., Luoma, A. M., Dougan, S. K. & Wucherpfennig, K. W. Cell 184, 1575–1588 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Johnson, D. B., Balko, J. M. & Compton, M. L. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 375, 1749–1755 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Wang, D. Y. et al. JAMA Oncol. 4, 1721–1728 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Winship, A. et al. Nat. Cancer (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Tawbi, H. A. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 386, 24–34 (2022).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Luoma, A. M. et al. Cell 182, 655–671.e22 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Sasson, S. C. et al. Gastroenterology 161, 1229–1244.e9 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Cercek, A. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 386, 2363–2376 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Xu, P. C. et al. J. Endocrinol. 252, 15–30 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. NCCN Guidelines (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, accessed 6 June 2022).

  12. Duma, N. & Lambertini, M. Oncologist 25, 277–278 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Alesi, L. R., Winship, A. L. & Hutt, K. J. Curr. Opin. Endocr. Metab. Res. 18, 15–28 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Mittra, A. et al. Oncologist 26, e1883–e1886 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Garutti, M., Lambertini, M. & Puglisi, F. ESMO Open 6, 100291 (2021). erratum 6, 100276 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael Dougan.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

M.D. has research funding from Novartis and Eli Lilly and Company; has received consulting fees from Tillotts Pharma, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Partner Therapeutics, SQZ Biotech, AzurRx, Eli Lilly and Company, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Aditum and Moderna; and is a member of the scientific advisory board for Neoleukin Therapeutics. S.A.R. declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Roberts, S.A., Dougan, M. Checking ovarian reserves after checkpoint blockade. Nat Cancer 3, 907–908 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing: Cancer

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: Cancer newsletter — what matters in cancer research, free to your inbox weekly.

Get what matters in cancer research, free to your inbox weekly. Sign up for Nature Briefing: Cancer