Fertility Treatment Does Not Contribute to Breast Cancer Risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutation Carriers, Study Shows

A recent study has shown that among women carrying a BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutation, the use of fertility treatment does not contribute to a discernable increase in breast cancer risk.

Photo: Fertility Treatment | InStyleHealth


What is BRCA1 and BRCA2?

BRCA1 or Breast Cancer gene 1 and BRCA2 or Breast Cancer gene 2 – are genes that produce proteins that help repair damaged DNA in the human body. Everyone has two copies of these genes; one copy is inherited from each parent. These genes are sometimes referred to as tumor suppressor genes because when these have changes, called harmful (pathogenic) variants (mutations), cancer can develop.

Research involved a total of 1,824 Jewish Israeli women with confirmed BRCA ½ mutation, of whom 332 or 18.2% had undergone fertility treatment with clomiphene citrate, gonadotropin, in vitro fertilization, or a combination of treatments. The remaining 1,492 or 81.8% of women participants had not been treated for infertility.

There were 687 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Using multivariable cox proportional hazards analysis revealed no link between fertility treatment and breast cancer risk in the total population and when classified by each gene.

Corresponding hazard ratios (HRs) for breast cancer were 0.77 with clomiphene citrate, 0.54 with gonadotropin, 0.65 with in vitro fertilization, and 1.23 with combined treatments.

In the meantime, paternal origin of the mutation conferred a risk increase, as did the long-term use of oral contraceptives, in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Women using any oral contraceptives, finally , were at lower risk of ovarian cancer.

For complete or full details of the clinical study, click here.

 

Source: Fertil Steril 2021;doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2021.02.030

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