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Prognosis of pregnancy-associated breast cancer: a meta-analysis.

Research paper by Chunchun C Shao, Zhigang Z Yu, Juan J Xiao, Liyuan L Liu, Fanzhen F Hong, Yuan Y Zhang, Hongying H Jia

Indexed on: 12 Aug '20Published on: 12 Aug '20Published in: BMC Cancer



Abstract

Pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) is defined as breast cancer that is diagnosed during pregnancy and/or the postpartum period. Definitions of the duration of the postpartum period have been controversial, and this variability may lead to diverse results regarding prognosis. Moreover, evidence on the dose-response association between the time from the last pregnancy to breast cancer diagnosis and overall mortality has not been synthesized. We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for observational studies on the prognosis of PABC published up to June 1, 2019. We estimated summary-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Subgroup analyses based on diagnosis time, PABC definition, geographic region, year of publication and estimation procedure for HR were performed. Additionally, dose-response analysis was conducted by using the variance weighted least-squares regression (VWLS) trend estimation. A total of 54 articles (76 studies) were included in our study. PABC was associated with poor prognosis for overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and cause-specific survival (CSS), and the pooled HRs with 95% CIs were 1.45 (1.30-1.63), 1.39 (1.25-1.54) and 1.40 (1.17-1.68), respectively. The corresponding reference category was non-PABC patients. According to subgroup analyses, the varied definition of PABC led to diverse results. The dose-response analysis indicated a nonlinear association between the time from the last delivery to breast cancer diagnosis and the HR of overall mortality (P < 0.001). Compared to nulliparous women, the mortality was almost 60% higher in women with PABC diagnosed at 12 months after the last delivery (HR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.30-1.82), and the mortality was not significantly different at 70 months after the last delivery (HR = 1.14, 95% CI 0.99-1.25). This finding suggests that the definition of PABC should be extended to include patients diagnosed up to approximately 6 years postpartum (70 months after the last delivery) to capture the increased risk. This meta-analysis suggests that PABC is associated with poor prognosis, and the definition of PABC should be extended to include patients diagnosed up to approximately 6 years postpartum.