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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


ASCO 2024: Longest Reported Follow-up of Fertility and Pregnancy Among Survivors of Breast Cancer

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2024

Research regarding the future fertility of young women diagnosed with breast cancer has been hindered by short follow-up and failure to inquire about pregnancy attempts. To address this knowledge gap, Kimia Sorouri, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues conducted a study to evaluate fertility outcomes among patients who attempted pregnancy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Their results, which demonstrated the need for accessible fertility preservation services in this patient population, were discussed at a press briefing before the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 1518).

This prospective study enrolled 1,213 women from the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study ( identifier NCT01468246) with stage 0 to III breast cancer who were diagnosed at age 40 or younger and reported a pregnancy attempt after diagnosis. Patients with metastatic disease at diagnosis were excluded. Serial surveys were used to collect data on fertility outcomes and attempting pregnancy.

The median patient age at diagnosis was 32, and the median follow-up was 11 years. A total of 197 participants reported a pregnancy attempt. At diagnosis, 28% of patients underwent fertility preservation; 15% had a history of infertility. Most patients had never given birth (71%), and 51% had never been pregnant. At least one pregnancy and/or live birth was reported by 73% and 65% of patients, respectively, and the median time from diagnosis to first pregnancy was 48 months. 

Multivariate analysis demonstrated that increased patient age at diagnosis negatively correlated with pregnancy and live births (P < .0001), whereas financial comfort at baseline (P = .047) and fertility preservation at diagnosis (P = .009) appeared to predict pregnancy. Of note, tumor characteristics, cancer treatment, BRCA1/2 pathogenic variant status, race, ethnicity, history of infertility, and never giving birth did not appear to be associated with pregnancy or live birth.

Disclosure: Disclosure information for the study authors is available at

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