(CTN News) – According to an international retrospective cohort study, approximately 20% of young women with germline BRCA pathogenic variants were able to conceive within 10 years of being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
The study found that these pregnancies did not have any negative effects on the mothers’ health or the outcomes of their babies. The study included over 4,700 women, and it revealed that the cumulative incidence of pregnancy at the 10-year mark was 22%.
The median time from breast cancer diagnosis to conception was 3.5 years.
The researchers also noted that there was no significant difference in disease-free survival between patients who had a pregnancy after breast cancer and those who did not.
Additionally, they found that pregnancy in BRCA carriers was associated with a lower rate of breast cancer-specific survival events and a lower rate of death due to any cause.
These findings suggest that pregnancy after breast cancer may not only be possible but also beneficial for young women with BRCA pathogenic variants.
Lambertini and his team found valuable information for counseling young individuals with BRCA mutations who want to conceive after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 12% of newly diagnosed young patients have BRCA1 or BRCA2 variants, but there is limited data on pregnancy in this population.
Previous results from a study involving 1,252 BRCA carriers showed no negative effects on maternal or fetal outcomes.
These findings suggest that all women diagnosed with cancer during their reproductive years should be offered fertility preservation options. Oncologists should have accurate data to guide counseling on the feasibility and safety of pregnancy for these young women.
Mayer, not involved in the study, emphasized its significance, calling it “an important organization of a large cohort of patients.” He stated that the data have a profound impact on clinical practice, providing valuable information for counseling young patients. The study suggests that pregnancy can be considered safe after initial diagnosis and treatment.
The study found that patients with hormone-receptor (HR)-positive cancer had a longer interval from diagnosis to conception, averaging 4.3 years. Interestingly, 39.8% of pregnancies occurred after 5 years.
The study showed that HR-positive women who want to conceive can pause endocrine therapy for up to 2 years without increasing the risk of cancer recurrence.
The study included 4,732 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at age 40 or younger between January 2000 and December 2020.
All patients had BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutations. They were recruited from 78 treatment centers across different regions. The median follow-up period was 7.8 years.
The median age at diagnosis was 35 years, and 659 patients had at least one pregnancy after diagnosis. This incidence of pregnancy was higher than previously reported in young breast cancer survivors.
Remarkably, 79.2% of the pregnancies occurred spontaneously, despite over 90% of the cohort having undergone chemotherapy.