Childbearing Potential in Women With Hodgkin Lymphoma

Key Points

  • Childbirth rates were similar between patients and comparators for women diagnosed during 2004 to 2009.
  • Overall, birthrate at ≥ 3 years after diagnosis among patients was similar to that in the general population.

In a Swedish study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Weibull et al found that childbearing potential in young women treated for Hodgkin lymphoma in more recent years is similar to that in the general population.

Study Details

The study included 449 women aged 18 to 40 years identified from Swedish registers who were diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma between 1992 and 2009 and were in remission at 9 months after diagnosis. Patients were age- and calendar year-matched to 2,210 comparators from the general population.

Childbirth Rates

Among the 449 patients with lymphoma, 22.5% had a childbirth during follow-up (rate = 57.2 per 1,000 person years), with the rate of first childbirth increasing from 40.2 per 1,000 person-years during 1992 to 1997 to 69.7 per 1,000 person-years during 2004 to 2009. Among comparators, 28.9% had a childbirth during follow-up; rates remained stable over time, with an overall rate of 70.1 per 1,000 person-years. The rate of childbirth for patients diagnosed between 2004 and 2009 did not differ significantly from that among comparators (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.66–1.33).

Across the entire follow-up period, patients had a lower childbirth rate within 3 years of diagnosis (HR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.41–0.81). For ≥ 3 years after diagnosis, there was no difference in rate between patients and comparators regardless of stage or treatment (HR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.75–1.31). Patients who received six to eight courses of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (HR = 0.23, 95% CI =0.06–0.94) and those who received six to eight courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (HR = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.07–0.65) had a lower childbirth rate vs comparators during the first 3 years.

The investigators concluded, “Childbearing potential among female survivors of [Hodgkin lymphoma] has improved over time, and childbirth rates 3 years after diagnosis in contemporarily treated patients are, in the absence of relapse, similar to those in the general population, regardless of stage and treatment.”

The study was supported by the Swedish Cancer Society.

Caroline E. Weibull, MSc, of the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, is the corresponding author for the Journal of Clinical Oncology article.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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