Hematologic malignancies and pregnancy

Susan Escudier, M. J. Keating

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PREGNANCY is infrequently complicated by hematologic malignancies. For an asymptomatic patient with chronic leukemia or indolent lymphoma, treatment can be deferred until after delivery of the baby. Leukapheresis will deplete leukemic cells, relieve systemic symptoms, and reduce splenomegaly in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia. With acute leukemias, chemotherapy is often required to preserve the life of the mother and fetus. When the mother is induced into remission, the likelihood of safe delivery of the child is enhanced. In patients with stage I or II Hodgkin's or non- Hodgkin's lymphoma who require treatment during pregnancy, supradiaphragmatic radiotherapy with abdominal shielding can be used with minimal risk to the fetus. In patients with more advanced lymphoma, organ involvement, or high- grade histology, combination chemotherapy may be necessary to save the life of the mother. In this review, we discuss the complications of these malignancies, along with the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-423
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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