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UT MD Anderson study finds women treated for breast cancer while pregnant have improved survival
Date:9/29/2010

HOUSTON - Long associated with a worse outcome, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that women treated for breast cancer while pregnant, in fact, have improved disease-free survival and a trend for improved overall survival compared to non-pregnant women treated for the disease.

Jennifer Litton, M.D., assistant professor in MD Anderson's Department of Breast Medical Oncology, presented the findings in a poster discussion session at the 2010 Breast Cancer Symposium.

"Until now, older registry studies showed that breast cancer patients treated while pregnant had a worse outcome. However, in the past, these patients weren't always treated consistently with standard of care chemotherapy and often delayed their therapy until after delivery." said Litton, the study's first and corresponding author. "Given MD Anderson's experience in treating pregnant patients and our registry, we were able to look at these women treated by the same physicians, at the same institution, with the same standard of care."

In 1992, Richard Theriault, D.O., professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology, opened the first protocol examining a chemotherapeutic regimen for the management of these patients. He later published seminal studies proving that the regimen was safe for both pregnant mother and unborn child; it has since been adopted as the standard of care. MD Anderson has the oldest, active prospective registry in the world following the health of pregnant breast cancer patients and their children.

For the single institution, case-controlled study, Litton and her colleagues identified 75 women treated for breast cancer while pregnant. Using the institution's tumor registry and Department of Breast Medical Oncology database, the cases were compared to 150 non-pregnant breast cancer patients. Cases and controls were all treated at MD Anderson 1989 -2008, and were matched based on stage, age and
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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UT MD Anderson study finds women treated for breast cancer while pregnant have improved survival
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