EPMA Journal

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Pregnancy-associated breast cancer: the risky status quo and new concepts of predictive medicine

  • Jiri PolivkaJr.
  • Irem Altun
  • Olga GolubnitschajaEmail author


The paper is motivated by severe concerns regarding currently applied care of the pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) characterised by particularly poor outcomes of the disease. Psychological and ethical aspects play a crucial role in PABC: the highest priority not to damage the foetus significantly complicates any treatment generally, and it is quite usual that patients disclaim undergoing any breast cancer treatment during pregnancy. Although, due to global demographic trends, PABC is far from appearing rarely now, severe societal and economic consequences of the disease are still neglected by currently applied reactive medical approach. These actualities require creating new strategies which should be better adapted to the needs of the society at large by advancing the PABC care based on predictive diagnostic approaches specifically in premenopausal women, innovative screening programmes focused on young female populations, targeted prevention in high-risk groups, and optimised treatment concepts. The article summarises the facts and provides recommendations to advance the field-related research and medical services specifically dedicated to the PABC care.


Predictive preventive personalised medicine Breast cancer Pregnancy Risk assessment Multi-level diagnostics Recommendations 


Authors’ contribution

OG is the project coordinator who has created the main scientific concepts presented in the manuscript. JP Jr. has performed the literature search, analysed the data, and drafted the manuscript. IA has contributed to the literature search, data collection and analysis and concepts’ development. OG and JP Jr. have designed the final version of the manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Charles University Research Fund (Progres Q39), by the MH CZ - DRO (Faculty Hospital Plzen - FNPl, 00669806), and by the National Sustainability Program I (NPU I) Nr. LO1503 provided by the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. The authors thank the European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine (EPMA, Brussels) for professional and financial support of the project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Not applicable.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of informed consent

Patients have not been involved in the study.

Statement of human and animal rights

No experiments have been performed including patients and/or animals.


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Copyright information

© European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine (EPMA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiri PolivkaJr.
    • 1
    • 2
  • Irem Altun
    • 3
  • Olga Golubnitschaja
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine in PlzenCharles UniversityPlzenCzech Republic
  2. 2.Biomedical Centre, Faculty of Medicine in PlzenCharles UniversityPlzenCzech Republic
  3. 3.CEMBIORheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität BonnBonnGermany
  4. 4.Radiological ClinicRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität BonnBonnGermany
  5. 5.Breast Cancer Research CentreRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität BonnBonnGermany
  6. 6.Centre for Integrated Oncology, Cologne-BonnRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität BonnBonnGermany

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