A comprehensive review of childbearing after cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2020 Oct;302(4):793-799. doi: 10.1007/s00404-020-05687-z. Epub 2020 Jul 11.


Purpose: Our aim is to present a review on childbearing following CRS and HIPEC for peritoneal malignancy.

Methods: A review of the English literature, up to December 2019, was conducted, using PubMed/MEDLINE, EmBase and Google Scholar bibliographic databases, following the MOOSE guidelines. The terms "Cytoreductive Surgery", "Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy", "Peritoneal Carcinomatosis", "Pregnancy", "Fertility Preservation", "Conception" were used. All study designs were eligible for inclusion in the final analysis.

Results: In total, 7 studies (5 case reports and 2 case series) were included in the final analysis, reporting on 14 successful pregnancies after CRS and HIPEC. The mean age of patients at the time of CRS/HIPEC was 28.8 ± 5.9 years (range 18-36), while the mean interval between CRS/HIPEC and pregnancy was 29.6 ± 20.3 months (range 9-80 months). Nine patients were treated for pseudomyxoma peritonei, four for primary peritoneal mesothelioma and one for endocrine carcinoma. Mean Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Index was 9.8 ± 7.8 (range 1-26). All patients underwent fertility-sparing CRS (preservation of at least one ovary and the uterus). In 12 cases, conception was spontaneous, whereas two pregnancies were achieved through in-vitro fertilization. One patient developed gestational hypertension, while two labors were preterm. Mean disease-free survival was 64.1 months (range 24-106 months).

Conclusion: A successful pregnancy is feasible in selected patients, after CRS and HIPEC. Assisted reproduction techniques (IVF using frozen oocytes or frozen embryos, ovarian tissue cryopreservation, preoperative treatment with GnRH analogs) should be discussed pre-operatively with the patient, without, however, compromising overall survival or risking locoregional recurrence.

Keywords: Conception; Cytoreductive surgery; Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy; Infertility; Peritoneal carcinomatosis; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endocrine Gland Neoplasms
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / adverse effects*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods
  • Infant
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / pathology
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Peritoneum / surgery*
  • Pseudomyxoma Peritonei / pathology
  • Pseudomyxoma Peritonei / therapy
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted*
  • Treatment Outcome