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Reaction: stopping endocrine therapy to try to get pregnant after breast cancer does not worsen prognosis

A study published today in the NEJM examines the risk of relapse in breast cancer patients who decide to pause endocrine therapy to try to become pregnant. The results show that temporarily stopping treatment does not confer an increased risk in the long term, but the authors warn of the need for further follow-up.

03/05/2023 - 23:00 CEST
Expert reactions

Miguel Martín - cáncer embarazadas

Miguel Martín

Head of the Medical Oncology Department of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital and president of GEICAM

Science Media Centre Spain

The study has a pre-established statistical plan of good quality and the researchers are leading figures in the field of breast cancer. 

It was already known that pregnancy did not worsen the prognosis of women with breast cancer. Many oncologists also discussed with patients the possibility of temporarily interrupting endocrine therapy to allow a much-desired pregnancy and did so, but now there is prospective evidence to support that option thanks to the study.  

As the authors themselves describe, what the study shows for the moment is that in the medium term (3-4 years) there is no increase in breast cancer relapses from transiently stopping endocrine therapy compared to a similar cohort without discontinuation, but they caution that further follow-up is needed to draw longer-term conclusions. 

This study gives reassurance to physicians and patients who have previously decided to discontinue endocrine therapy (after at least two years of therapy) to allow pregnancy.

The author has not responded to our request to declare conflicts of interest
Interrupting Endocrine Therapy to Attempt Pregnancy after Breast Cancer
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • People
New England Journal of Medicine
Publication date

Partridge et al.

Study types:
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • People
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