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Hum Reprod. 2017 Oct 1;32(10):2123-2129. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dex276.

Random start ovarian stimulation for fertility preservation appears unlikely to delay initiation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, 499 Illinois Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington, Health Sciences Building, 6th Floor, BB Wing, 1959 NE Pacific St, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
3
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, P.O.Box 12000, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
4
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, 1600 Divisadero St., Second Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION:

Is random start ovarian stimulation associated with delays in initiation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer?

SUMMARY ANSWER:

Among women who complete fertility preservation (FP) consultation, random start ovarian stimulation is unlikely to delay time to initiation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy start.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY:

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is now a widely accepted treatment modality for operable breast cancer and random start ovarian stimulation is an increasingly-utilized modality for FP. While conventional ovarian stimulation does not appear to delay starting adjuvant chemotherapy, the relationship between random start ovarian stimulation and neoadjuvant chemotherapy start is not well-understood.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION:

Cross-sectional study of all women seen between from January 2011 to April 2017 for FP consultation prior to starting neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS:

A chart-review was performed. Study inclusion criteria were female sex; age 18-45; non-metastatic breast cancer diagnosis; underwent FP consultation; underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Referrals for FP evaluation came from a regional referral base of oncology clinics. Various time-points related to cancer diagnosis, FP or chemotherapy were obtained from medical record review. We compared time-points between those who underwent ovarian stimulation for FP versus those who did not using T-tests and linear modeling.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE:

A total of 89 women who had FP consultation prior to neoadjuvant chemotherapy were identified. Sixty-seven percent underwent ovarian stimulation prior to cancer treatment and 33% did not. Women who underwent ovarian stimulation were similar in parity and clinical cancer stage to those who did not. Overall, the average time from cancer diagnosis to chemotherapy start was similar between the group that did undergo ovarian stimulation and those who did not (38.1 ± 11.3 versus 39.4 ± 18.5 days, P = 0.672). Those that underwent ovarian stimulation were referred 9.4 ± 6.8 days after diagnosis versus 17.9 ± 15.3 days for those who did not undergo ovarian stimulation (P < 0.001).

LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION:

Retrospective study with potential for selection bias among those who underwent ovarian stimulation versus those who did not. Reasons for caution include the possibility of unmeasured differences among those who did and did not undergo ovarian stimulation, including: patients' and providers' perceptions of the urgency to start chemotherapy, ongoing oncology work-up and treatment planning, FP decision-making, and the pursuit of second and third opinions. The difference in time from referral to FP consultation may have also influenced patients' decisions about whether to undergo ovarian stimulation.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS:

In this study, FP with random start ovarian stimulation was not associated with a delay cancer treatment in the neoadjuvant setting, so long as there was a prompt FP referral. Patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy should be informed of these findings to avoid unnecessary anxiety due to concern for delays.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S):

This study was supported by departmental research funding within the University of California, San Francisco Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

KEYWORDS:

breast cancer; fertility preservation; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; random start ovarian stimulation; treatment delay

PMID:
28938748
DOI:
10.1093/humrep/dex276
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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