Fertility treatments and invasive epithelial ovarian cancer risk in Jewish Israeli BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers

Tamar Perri*, Dror Lifshitz, Siegal Sadetzki, Bernice Oberman, Dror Meirow, Gilad Ben-Baruch, Eitan Friedman, Jacob Korach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To determine whether BRCA mutation carriers who undergo fertility treatments are at increased risk of developing invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (IEOC). Design Historical cohort study. Setting Tertiary university-affiliated medical center and the National Cancer Registry. Patient(s) A total of 1,073 Jewish Israeli BRCA mutation carriers diagnosed in a single institution between 1995 and 2013, including 164 carriers (15.2%) who had fertility treatments that included clomiphene citrate (n = 82), gonadotropin (n = 69), in vitro fertilization (IVF) (n = 66), or a combination (n = 50), and 909 carriers not treated for infertility. Intervention(s) None. Main Outcome Measure(s) Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for IEOC association with fertility treatments and other hormone and reproductive variables. Result(s) In 175 (16.3%) mutation carriers, IEOC was diagnosed; 139 women carried BRCA1, 33 carried BRCA2, and 3 had unknown mutations. Fertility treatments were not associated with IEOC risk (age-adjusted OR 0.63; 95% CI, 0.38-1.05) regardless of treatment type (with clomiphene citrate, OR 0.87; 95% CI, 0.46-1.63; with gonadotropin, OR 0.59; 95% CI, 0.26-1.31; with IVF, OR 1.08, 95% CI, 0.57-2.06). Multivariate analysis indicated an increased risk of IEOC with hormone-replacement therapy (OR 2.22; 95% CI, 1.33-3.69) and a reduced risk with oral contraceptives (OR 0.19; 95% CI, 0.13-0.28) in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Parity was a risk factor for IEOC by univariate but not multivariate analysis. Conclusion(s) According to our results, treatments for infertile BRCA mutation carriers should not be contraindicated or viewed as risk modifiers for IEOC. Parity as a risk factor in BRCA mutation carriers warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1312
Number of pages8
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


  • BRCA mutations
  • cancer risk
  • fertility treatment
  • ovarian cancer


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