Pregnancy in Women Previously Treated for an Adrenocortical Carcinoma

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Adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs) are rare, aggressive tumors, of which some express receptors for estradiol, progesterone, and/or human chorionic gonadotoropin. Because this disease is encountered frequently in young women, pregnancy is a relevant issue.


to evaluate the impact of pregnancy on outcome of patients previously treated for ACC.


retrospective observational multicenter study of the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors.


Seventeen ACC patients (21 pregnancies), becoming pregnant at least 3 months after the initial treatment, were compared with 247 nonpregnant ACC patients less than 47 years old. A control group of 34 patients matched for age, sex, and tumor stage was used for survival analysis.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Overall survival, tumors characteristics at diagnosis, pregnancy outcome.


All 17 patients with pregnancies had localized ACC. The median time between surgery and conception was 4 years (0.3–12 y). Two pregnancies were terminated at 8 weeks. Sixteen women gave birth to 19 live infants. With exception of 1 (presumably unrelated) cardiac malformation, no severe fetal or maternal complication was observed. After a median follow-up time of 8.36 years and 5.26 years after the first conception, 1 of the 17 patients had died and 5 had experienced a recurrence, among whom 3 occurred before conception. Overall survival was not significantly different between the “pregnancy group” and the matched controls.


Pregnancy in patients previously treated for ACC seems to not be associated with worse clinical outcome, although a “healthy mother effect” cannot be excluded.

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