Ovarian stimulation for IVF and risk of primary breast cancer in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers

Inge A. P. Derks-Smeets, Lieske H. Schrijver, Christine E. M. de Die-Smulders, Vivianne C. G. Tjan-Heijnen, Ron J. T. van Golde, Luc J. Smits, Beppy Caanen, Christi J. van Asperen, Margreet Ausems, Margriet Collee, Klaartje van Engelen, C. Marleen Kets, Lizet van der Kolk, Jan C. Oosterwijk, Theo A. M. van Os, Matti A. Rookus, Flora E. van Leeuwen*, Encarna B. Garcia, HEBON

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The effect of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) on breast cancer risk for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers is rarely examined. As carriers may increasingly undergo IVF as part of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), we examined the impact of ovarian stimulation for IVF on breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. METHODS: The study population consisted of 1550 BRCA1 and 964 BRCA2 mutation carriers, derived from the nationwide HEBON study and the nationwide PGD registry. Questionnaires, clinical records and linkages with the Netherlands Cancer Registry were used to collect data on IVF exposure, risk-reducing surgeries and cancer diagnosis, respectively. Time-dependent Cox regression analyses were conducted, stratified for birth cohort and adjusted for subfertility. RESULTS: Of the 2514 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, 3% (n = 76) were exposed to ovarian stimulation for IVF. In total, 938 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers (37.3%) were diagnosed with breast cancer. IVF exposure was not associated with risk of breast cancer (HR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.46-1.36). Similar results were found for the subgroups of subfertile women (n = 232; HR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.39-1.37) and BRCA1 mutation carriers (HR: 1.12, 95% CI: 0.60-2.09). In addition, age at and recency of first IVF treatment were not associated with breast cancer risk. CONCLUSION: No evidence was found for an association between ovarian stimulation for IVF and breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018




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