ASCO17: Pregnancy after a breast cancer diagnosis does not increase chance of recurrence

Findings from the largest study to investigate the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer and the only to address this question specifically in women with ER-positive breast cancer has demonstrated that pregnancy after a breast cancer diagnosis does not increase the chance of cancer coming back.

In a study presented recently at the 2017 Annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (2-6 June, IL, USA), a multi-institutional group of researchers have demonstrated that having a baby after a breast cancer diagnosis does not increase the chance of recurrence.

Physicians and breast cancer survivors remain concerned about the safety of becoming pregnant following a breast cancer diagnosis. This is of particular concern for women with a history of ER+ disease.

In previous work, the same multi-institutional group of researchers demonstrated no detrimental effect of pregnancy on breast cancer outcome within the first 5 years following conception.

In this more recent mult–center retrospective study, comprised 1207 patients of which 333 were pregnant and 874 were not pregnant, the team confirmed that pregnancy is safe and should not be discouraged irrespective of ER status.

Lead study author Matteo Lambertini from the Institut Jules Bordet (Brussels, Belgium): “Our findings confirm that pregnancy after breast cancer should not be discouraged, even for women with ER-positive cancer. However, when deciding how long to wait before becoming pregnant, patients and doctors should consider each woman’s personal risk for recurrence, particularly for women who need adjuvant hormone therapy.”

“These data provide reassurance to breast cancer survivors that having a baby after a breast cancer diagnosis may not increase the chance of their cancer coming back. For many young women around the world who want to grow and expand their families, it’s very comforting news,” commented Erica L. Mayer (ASCO Expert).

Sources: ASCO press release; Lambertini M, Kroman N, Ameye L et al. Safety of pregnancy in patients (pts) with history of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer (BC): Long-term follow-up analysis from a multicenter study J. Clin. Oncol. (suppl; abstr LBA10066) (2017).