Endocrine Therapy Break Permits Pregnancies Without Affecting Survivorship Outcomes

June 21, 2023 by Elisa Becze BA, ELS, Editor

Pausing endocrine therapy to give breast cancer survivors an opportunity to attempt pregnancy does not increase their short-term recurrence rates, researchers reported in study findings (https://doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.SABCS22-GS4-09) presented at the 2022 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Additionally, survivors’ conception rates are on par or higher than those among the general public.

For their single-arm study, researchers enrolled 518 breast cancer survivors aged 42 or younger who had completed 18–30 months of adjuvant endocrine therapy. After a median 41 months’ follow-up, 8.9% of the survivors had experienced a recurrence, which the researchers said was on par with the 9.2% recurrence rate reported in another study (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1803164) of comparable breast cancer survivors who had not stopped endocrine therapy treatment.

The researchers followed 497 survivors for pregnancy status. Of those, 368 (74%) had at least one pregnancy and 317 (63.8%) had at least one live birth. After completing their pregnancies or attempted pregnancies, 76.3% of the survivors resumed their endocrine therapy.

The researchers are planning additional follow-up to assess long-term implications. “The POSITIVE trial demonstrates that for young women with early, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer desiring pregnancy, temporary interruption of endocrine therapy to attempt pregnancy does not confer a greater short-term risk of recurrence than that observed in a modern historical control group that did not interrupt endocrine therapy,” the researchers concluded.

Learn more about having fertility conversations with your patients (https://www.ons.org/podcasts/episode-208-how-have-fertility-preservation-conversations-your-patients) and other nursing support strategies (https://www.ons.org/podcasts/episode-9-how-support-adolescent-and-young-adult-patients-cancer) for young adults with cancer on the Oncology Nursing Podcast.

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