MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hatem A. Azim Jr, MD, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut (AUB)
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: This study aimed at evaluating the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer particularly in patient with history of ER+ breast cancer; a subset in which safety of future pregnancy is always put into question by oncologists and obstetricians.
This study included more than 300 pregnant women and 800 non-pregnant breast cancer patients who acted as a comparator group The results show that after more than 7 years after pregnancy, women who became pregnant did not have an increased risk of recurrence compared to those who did not become pregnant irrespective of ER status. There was no impact of breastfeeding, abortion or time of pregnancy on patient outcome.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: The main take home message is that pregnancy is safe after breast cancer even in women with history of ER+ breast cancer. Offering abortion for these patients does not impact their survival and thus should not be promoted for therapeutic reasons,
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: This study while showing that pregnancy is safe, it does not address an important question is whether women can discontinue endocrine therapy temporarily to allow pregnancy. As duration of endocrine therapy is getting longer (5-10 years), it is not always feasible to complete the total duration of endocrine therapy before becoming pregnant. Thus as a follow-up for this study, an international study has been initiated (POSITIVE trial), evaluating the safety of temporary interruption of endocrine therapy to allow pregnancy in women with history of ER+ breast cancer. This study is a large prospective trial coordinated by the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG), and is currently recruiting patients worldwide.
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JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, djx206,https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djx206
26 October 2017
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