Pregnancy, time to pregnancy and obstetric outcomes among female childhood cancer survivors: results of the DCOG LATER-VEVO study

M van Dijk, F E van Leeuwen, A Overbeek, C B Lambalk, M M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, W van Dorp, W J Tissing, L C Kremer, J J Loonen, B Versluys, D Bresters, C M Ronckers, H J van der Pal, C C M Beerendonk, G J L Kaspers, E van Dulmen-den Broeder, M H van den Berg

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15 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To evaluate pregnancy rates, time to pregnancy (TTP) and obstetric outcomes in female childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) and to identify specific diagnosis- and treatment-related factors associated with these outcomes.

METHODS: The study is part of the DCOG LATER-VEVO study, a nationwide multicenter cohort study evaluating fertility among long-term Dutch female CCSs. Data were collected by questionnaire. The current study included 1095 CCSs and 812 controls, consisting of sisters of CCSs and a random sample of women from the general population.

RESULTS: Among the subgroup of women who ever had the desire to become pregnant, the chance of becoming pregnant was significantly lower for CCSs than controls (OR 0.5, 95%CI 0.4-0.8). Moreover, TTP was 1.1 times longer for CCSs compared to controls (p = 0.09) and was significantly longer in survivors of CNS and renal tumours. Overall, no differences were found between CCSs and controls regarding the probability of ever having had a miscarriage, still birth, or induced abortion. However, CCSs had a significantly increased risk of delivering preterm (OR 2.2, 95%CI 1.3-3.7) and delivering via caesarean section (OR 1.8, 95%CI 1.2-2.6). Treatment with lower abdominal/pelvic radiotherapy was strongly associated with several adverse obstetric outcomes.

CONCLUSION: CCSs are less likely to have ever been pregnant. Among those who do become pregnant, certain subgroups of CCSs are at increased risk of longer TTP. Moreover, as pregnant CCSs, especially those treated with lower abdominal/pelvic radiotherapy, are more likely to develop various adverse obstetric outcomes, appropriate obstetric care is highly advocated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1462
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cancer research and clinical oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Adult
  • Cancer Survivors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms/physiopathology
  • Netherlands
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


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