PURPOSE: To investigate whether fertility preservation (FP) in adult women diagnosed with breast cancer (BC) may impact the time interval between diagnosis and start of chemotherapy in an adjuvant or neo-adjuvant setting.
METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of breast cancer patients diagnosed between January 2012 and December 2017 undergoing FP at a tertiary-care academic fertility centre before neo-adjuvant (NAC) or adjuvant chemotherapy (AC), and matched control breast cancer patients who had no FP. FP interventions included oocyte vitrification following ovarian stimulation or after in-vitro maturation (IVM) of immature oocytes, and/or ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Controls from the patient database of the affiliated Breast Cancer Clinic were matched for tumour characteristics and type of treatment. Time intervals between cancer diagnosis and the start of chemotherapy were analysed.
RESULTS: Fifty-nine BC patients underwent FP: 29 received NAC and 30 received AC. The average interval between diagnosis and chemotherapy in BC patients with NAC was 28.5 days (27.3 (range: 14.0-44.0) days in cases and 29.6 (range: 14.0-62.0) days in controls (NS)); this interval was 58.9 days in BC patients with AC (57.2 (range: 36.0-106.0) days in cases and 60.7 (range: 31.0-105.0) days in controls (NS)).
CONCLUSION: Fertility preservation does not delay the start of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.
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