Does Fertility Preservation Increase Childbirth Rates in Women With Breast Cancer?
Posted: Monday, February 22, 2021
For women with breast cancer, fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment may increase the likelihood for reproductive success, according to a nationwide cohort study published in JAMA Oncology. These findings are pivotal to the counseling and management of women of child-bearing age with breast cancer, reported Kenny A. Rodriguez-Wallberg, MD, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and colleagues.
“We hope the conclusions of our study can increase the body of knowledge so more women with breast cancer who want to have children can make informed decisions in consultation with their doctors,” commented study co-author Anna Marklund, MD, also of Karolinska Institutet.
From 1994 to 2017, a total of 1,275 women with breast cancer were recruited for the study. Women had either received (n = 425) or not received (n = 850) fertility preservation treatment. Patients from each treatment group were matched based on age, calendar period of diagnosis, and county.
The results revealed a 2.3 and 4.8 times increase in childbirths and assisted reproduction treatments, respectively, in women who received fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment compared with controls. In addition, a comparison between women who received fertility preservation (23%) and those who did not (9%) showed an increased percentage of women who delivered a child. After a 10-year follow-up period, this trend persisted, as 41% of women who received fertility preservation had at least one child compared with 16% of controls.
Furthermore, it was revealed that the overall mortality rate decreased in women who received fertility preservation (5.3%) compared with controls (11.1%). However, the exact reasoning behind this disparity remains elusive, as this study assessed total survival alone and not disease-specific survival.
Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit jamanetwork.com.