Introduction/Background Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in fertile women. The effect of pregnancy and assisted reproductive technology (ART) on the recurrence of melanoma is still unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the incidence of recurrent melanoma in pregnancy after spontaneous conception or after using ART.
Methodology This study was a single centre questionnaire study among fertile women with a history of invasive melanoma. Questions concerned general health, primary tumour characteristics, development of recurrent melanoma, use of ART and occurrence of pregnancies.
Results A total of 354 (49%) questionnaires were available for analyses, 309 from living women and 45 of relatives of diseased women. The majority of women (n=218, 63%) had stage I primary disease. In total, 135 women with a history of melanoma (38%) became pregnant after their melanoma diagnosis. Only 17 women (5%) conceived after using ART. There was no difference in recurrence rate between women who had ever been pregnant (before or after the diagnosis of melanoma) and those who had never been (37% vs 35%, p=0.775). In the small group of women who conceived after ART, recurrency rate was 30% (n=5).
Conclusion Pregnancy did not increase the risk of recurrent melanoma. The group of women conceiving after ART was too small to assess a relation. Registration of these women, their oncologic follow-up and possible fertility treatments, will provide more information on the relations between ART and recurrent melanoma in the future which is of importance for preconceptional counselling.
Disclosure All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. F. Amant is senior researcher for the Flemish Research Fund (F.W.O.), the other authors did not receive funding for this research project.
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