Fertility Preservation and Assisted Reproduction in Patients With Breast Cancer Interrupting Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy to Attempt Pregnancy

J Clin Oncol. 2024 May 29:JCO2302292. doi: 10.1200/JCO.23.02292. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: We investigated time to pregnancy, efficacy and safety of fertility preservation, and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in women with early hormone receptor-positive breast cancer (BC) desiring future pregnancy.

Patients and methods: POSITIVE is an international, single-arm, prospective trial, in which 518 women temporarily interrupted adjuvant endocrine therapy to attempt pregnancy. We evaluated menstruation recovery and factors associated with time to pregnancy and investigated if ART use was associated with achieving pregnancy. The cumulative incidence of BC-free interval (BCFI) events was estimated according to the use of ovarian stimulation at diagnosis. The median follow-up was 41 months.

Results: Two hundred seventy-three patients (53%) reported amenorrhea at enrollment, of whom 94% resumed menses within 12 months. Among 497 patients evaluable for pregnancy, 368 (74%) reported at least one pregnancy. Young age was the main factor associated with shorter time to pregnancy with cumulative incidences of pregnancy by 1 year of 63.5%, 54.3%, and 37.7% for patients age <35, 35-39, and 40-42 years, respectively. One hundred and seventy-nine patients (36%) had embryo/oocyte cryopreservation at diagnosis, of whom 68 reported embryo transfer after enrollment. Cryopreserved embryo transfer was the only ART associated with higher chance of pregnancy (odds ratio, 2.41 [95% CI, 1.75 to 4.95]). The cumulative incidence of BCFI events at 3 years was similar for women who underwent ovarian stimulation for cryopreservation at diagnosis, 9.7% (95% CI, 6.0 to 15.4), compared with those who did not, 8.7% (95% CI, 6.0 to 12.5).

Conclusion: In POSITIVE, fertility preservation using ovarian stimulation was not associated with short-term detrimental impact on cancer prognosis. Pregnancy rates were highest among those who underwent embryo/oocyte cryopreservation followed by embryo transfer.