Pregnancy after breast cancer: The POSITIVE study explained in a video

Intro text: 

- 5 February 2018 -

In a moving video that has just been published, researchers from the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) aim to raise awareness about the POSITIVE study, an international academic effort run under the BIG umbrella to better understand the correlation between pregnancy and the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

The goal of the video is to inform patients and doctors about a controlled clinical study for young women with endocrine-responsive early breast cancer who wish to have a baby, and to sensitise health providers about issues related to breast cancer and pregnancy.

The video was developed by IBCSG with the collaboration and financial support of "Anna dai Capelli Corti",  a Swiss association for young patients with breast cancer born within the Breast Cancer Unit of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland. Two young women confronted by breast cancer while still wishing to conceive a child tell their stories, which forms the heart of the video. From the patient treatment and care perspectives, Drs Olivia Pagani and Fedro Peccatori, breast cancer experts and co-chairs of POSITIVE, explain its rationale and design, and Dr Gabriella Bianchi describes the psychological component of the study.

The POSITIVE study (IBCSG 48-14/BIG 8-13)

The international and purely academic POSITIVE study has already recruited has recruited over 200 patients from more than 170 hospitals and cancer centres. The study, which intends to evaluate the pregnancy outcomes and safety of interrupting endocrine therapy for young women with hormone receptor positive early-stage breast cancer who wish to become pregnant, is now being conducted in 20 different countries. Overall, POSITIVE aims to recruit 500 patients worldwide.

The study is being conducted and sponsored by the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) under the umbrella of the Breast International Group (BIG).

Breast cancer and pregnancy

Fertility issues are extremely important to young women affected by breast cancer. These patients may not have time to wait for 5-10 years of treatment completion before considering pregnancy, and medical oncologists are often confronted with the following question in their daily practice: is it safe to temporarily interrupt endocrine treatment to attempt pregnancy?

The best available evidence suggests that pregnancy after breast cancer does not negatively impact disease outcome and is safe for the offspring, but no definitive data are currently available.

POSITIVE therefore provides a unique opportunity to gather definitive and prospective research data about the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer. It will also allow researchers to test biological correlates of pregnancy and disease outcome.

For more information about POSITIVE: NCT02308085