Fertility Preservation in Young Women with Breast Cancer: Impact on Treatment and Outcomes.

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Publication Date


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Annals of surgical oncology : the official journal of the Society of Surgical Oncology


washington; swedish; swedish cancer


BACKGROUND: The impact of chemotherapy timing on the fertility preservation (FP) decision is poorly understood. Here we evaluate factors associated with FP completion among women age ≤ 45 years with breast cancer who received chemotherapy and consulted with a reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) specialist, and report pregnancy and oncologic outcomes.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This retrospective review included all women age ≤ 45 years diagnosed with stage I-III unilateral breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center between 2009 and 2015 who received chemotherapy and consulted with an REI specialist. Clinicopathologic features and factors associated with the decision to undergo FP were analyzed, and comparisons were made with the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, Chi-square test, or Fisher's exact test. Survival curves were constructed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: Among the 172 women identified, median age was 34 years (interquartile range 31-37 years). The majority of women were single (n = 99, 57.6%) and nulliparous (n = 134, 77.9%). Most women underwent FP (n = 121, 70.3%). Factors associated with the decision to undergo FP included younger median age (33 vs. 37 years, p < 0.001), having private insurance (p < 0.001), nulliparity (p < 0.001), and referral from Breast Surgery (p = 0.004). Tumor characteristics and treatments were similar between women who underwent FP and those who declined. Overall survival and recurrence-free survival were also similar between groups. Women who underwent FP were more likely to have a biological child after breast cancer treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Women underwent FP at high rates independent of timing of chemotherapy and oncologic factors. FP is associated with having a biological child and does not compromise oncologic outcomes.

Clinical Institute

Women & Children

Clinical Institute





Obstetrics & Gynecology