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Fertility Preservation Not Linked to Relapse, Mortality in Breast Cancer

Adjusted rate of disease-specific mortality and relapse similar for those with and without exposure to hormones

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For women with breast cancer, fertility preservation (FP) with or without hormonal stimulation is not associated with any increased risk for relapse or disease-specific mortality, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in JAMA Oncology.

Anna Marklund, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the risk for disease-specific mortality and relapse in women who underwent FP with or without hormonal stimulation versus those who did not at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. Data were included for 425 women who underwent FP and 850 population comparators who had not undergone FP and were matched on age, calendar period of diagnosis, and region. Relapse-free survival was examined in a subcohort of 241 and 482 women who had and had not undergone FP, respectively.

The researchers found that disease-specific mortality was similar for women who underwent hormonal FP and nonhormonal FP and women who were not exposed to FP after stratification by matching variables and adjustment for country of birth, education, parity at diagnosis, tumor size, number of lymph node metastases, and estrogen receptor status. All three groups also had similar adjusted rates of disease-specific mortality and relapse in a subcohort with detailed data on relapse.

“Results of this study provide much needed additional evidence on the safety of FP procedures in women with breast cancer and may influence current health care practice to the benefit of young women with breast cancer who wish to preserve their fertility,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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