Reproductive outcomes following a stem cell transplant for a haematological malignancy in female cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Journal Article
Supportive Care in Cancer, 2019, 27 (12), pp. 4451 - 4460
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© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Purpose: The use of high-dose chemotherapy and radiotherapy combined with haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may negatively affect a woman’s reproductive potential. Reproductive outcomes such as infertility are a major concern for women who undergo treatment for a haematological cancer diagnosis. Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis explores reproductive outcomes following a haematological cancer requiring HSCT. Methods: Electronic databases were searched to identify studies that reported on reproductive outcomes after treatment for a haematological cancer diagnosis. Studies were included that reported on pregnancy and reproductive outcomes following HSCT for a haematological malignancy. Results: The meta-analysis included 14 studies, collectively involving 744 female patients. The subgroup analysis showed an overall pooled estimated pregnancy rate, for autologous or allogeneic HSCT recipients, of 22.7% (n = 438). There were 25% (n = 240) of women who became pregnant after autologous HSCT compared with 22% (n = 198) who subsequently became pregnant following allogeneic HSCT. Conclusions: This meta-analysis reflects low pregnancy rates for cancer survivors desiring a family. However, live births are improving over time with new technology and novel therapies. Hence, female cancer patients should be offered timely discussions, counselling and education around fertility preservation options prior to starting treatment with gonadotoxic therapy.
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