Background: Knowledge is growing on the safety of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) in cancer survivors. No data exist, however, for the specific population of breast cancer patients harboring germline BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants. Patients and methods: This is a multicenter retrospective cohort study across 30 centers worldwide including women diagnosed at ≤40 years with stage I-III breast cancer, between January 2000 and December 2012, harboring known germline BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants. Patients included in this analysis had a post-treatment pregnancy either achieved through use of ART (ART group) or naturally (non-ART group). ART procedures included ovulation induction, ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and embryo transfer under hormonal replacement therapy. Results: Among the 1424 patients registered in the study, 168 were eligible for inclusion in the present analysis, of whom 22 were in the ART group and 146 in the non-ART group. Survivors in the ART group conceived at an older age compared with those in the non-ART group (median age: 39.7 versus 35.4 years, respectively). Women in the ART group experienced more delivery complications compared with those in the non-ART group (22.1% versus 4.1%, respectively). No other apparent differences in obstetrical outcomes were observed between cohorts. The median follow-up from pregnancy was 3.4 years (range: 0.8-8.6 years) in the ART group and 5.0 years (range: 0.8-17.6 years) in the non-ART group. Two patients (9.1%) in the ART group experienced a disease-free survival event (specifically, a locoregional recurrence) compared with 40 patients (27.4%) in the non-ART group. In the ART group, no patients deceased compared with 10 patients (6.9%) in the non-ART group. Conclusion: This study provides encouraging safety data on the use of ART in breast cancer survivors harboring germline pathogenic variants in BRCA1/2, when natural conception fails or when they opt for ART in order to carry out preimplantation genetic testing.
- breast cancer