A study looking at chronic stress and fertility in women who had treatment for a childhood cancer (CSRF)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

All cancer types
Children's cancers





This study is for women who were treated for a childhood cancer at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh.         

More about this trial

Treatment for cancer in childhood might affect your ability to have children. As a part of your usual care your doctor takes a blood test to measure this.

In this study researchers want to find out what impact long term (chronic) stress has on fertility.

To do this they take spit (saliva) samples and hair samples. They look for substances that can measure levels of stress. They will also ask you to fill in some questionnaires.

The aims of this study are to find:

  • what the level of chronic stress in these women is
  • how common it is
  • what affect it has on their fertility

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.

You may be able to join this study if you are a woman who is an outpatient of the Edinburgh Children’s Cancer Centre, Scotland and all of the following apply

  • Your cancer was diagnosed below the age of 18 years old
  • Your treatment ended at least 1 year ago
  • You are between 16 and 35 years old

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You

  • Have had surgery to remove your ovaries in the past 6 months
  • Have had any hormone therapy in the past 3 months
  • Have a disease such as diabetes that affects your hormone (endocrine) system  
  • Have a problem with how your liver, kidneys or pancreas work
  • Have a lack of certain enzymes Open a glossary item
  • Have had an experimental drug as part of a clinical trial in the past 3 months
  • Have a problem with drugs or alcohol
  • Are pregnant 

Trial design

This is a pilot study. The researcher needs 50 women who were treated for cancer at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC), Edinburgh to join.

Study visit
You see a member of the study team at RHSC. You fill out some short questionnaires about:

  • your medical history
  • what your stress levels were over the past month

This visit takes about 30 minutes.

You receive by post a spit (saliva) collection kit with detailed instructions on how to take samples.

You collect 4 samples before going to the study visit:

  • 1 the night before
  • 3 during the morning of the visit

You hand in all 4 samples to the researcher at the visit.

At the visit the researcher takes a few hairs from the back of your head.

The team uses these samples to look for substances that show what your stress levels are. 

Hospital visits

The study visit is at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. This is arranged at a time that is convenient for you.

Side effects

You may feel a little discomfort when the hair and spit samples are taken.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Richard Anderson

Supported by

Medical Research Council (MRC)
NHS Lothian
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Edinburgh

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

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"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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