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Fertility-preservation in endometrial cancer: is it safe? Review of the literature.

Authors: Carneiro MM, Lamaita RM, Ferreira MC, Silva-Filho AL.
Publication date: 20170107
Journal: JBRA Assist Reprod. 2016 Dec 1;20(4):232-239.
DOI: 10.5935/1518-0557.20160045.

Almost 5% of women with endometrial cancer are under age 40, and they often have well-differentiated endometrioid estrogen-dependent tumors. Cancer survival rates have improved over the last decades so strategies to avoid or reduce the reproductive damage caused by oncologic treatment are needed. We reviewed the published literature to find evidence to answer the following questions: How should we manage women in reproductive age with endometrial cancer? How safe is fertility preservation in endometrial cancer? Can pregnancy influence endometrial cancer recurrence? What are the fertility sparing options available? Progestins may be prescribed after careful evaluation and counseling. Suitable patients should be selected using imaging methods and endometrial sampling since surgical staging will not be performed. Conservative treatment should only be offered to patients with grade 1 well-differentiated tumors, absence of lymph vascular space invasion, no evidence of myometrial invasion, metastatic disease or suspicious adnexal masses, and expression of progesterone receptors in the endometrium. The presence of co-existing ovarian metastatic of synchronous cancer should be investigated and ruled out before the decision to preserve the ovaries. The availability of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has made it possible for women with endometrial cancer to give birth to a child without compromising their prognoses. Gamete, embryo or ovarian tissue cryopreservation techniques can be employed, although the latter remains experimental. Unfortunately, fertility preservation is rarely considered. Current recommendations for conservative management are based on the overall favorable prognosis of grade 1 minimally invasive tumors. Selected patients with endometrial cancer may be candidates to a safe fertility-preserving management.

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