Chemotherapy during pregnancy does not appear to increase complications for newborn infants
The study examined a group of more than 400 women from across Europe who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer while pregnant. 197 (48%) of the women underwent chemotherapy during pregnancy, and the authors assessed whether their newborn babies suffered any ill effects that could be attributable to the cancer drugs.
While infants whose mothers had undergone chemotherapy while pregnant had, on average, a lower birth weight than those whose mothers had not had chemotherapy, there were few other noticeable differences between the groups. Babies exposed to chemotherapy in utero appeared to have no higher risk of birth defects, no lower Apgar scores, no more frequent blood disorders or alopecia than those whose mothers did not receive chemotherapy while pregnant.
According to Professor Sibylle Loibl, of the German Breast Group which led the study, "If our findings are confirmed by other studies, breast cancer during pregnancy could be treated as it is in non-pregnant women without putting foetal and maternal outcomes at substantially increased risk."
The number of chemotherapy cycles received during pregnancy did not appear to affect the babies' birth weight, leading the authors to suggest that the lower birth weight is not clinically meaningful.
"In the general population, about 10-15% of infants are born preterm, but in our study, 50% of women with breast cancer delivered preterm, with 23% delivering before the 35th week of gestation. More complications were reported in the group of infants exposed to chemotherapy than in the group not exposed to chemotherapy. However, most complications were reported in babies who were delivered prematurely, irrespective of exposure to chemotherapy."
"Our findings emphasise the importance of prioritising a full-term delivery in women who undergo chemotherapy while pregnant", adds Professor Loibl. "Illness and mortality in newborn babies is directly related to gestational age at delivery. This is an important clinical message because the decision to deliver the foetus preterm is often taken without medical indication. Our work suggests that treating patients with breast cancer while pregnant is possible, and there is no need to interrupt the pregnancy or receive inferior therapy."
In a linked Comment, Olivier Mir of the Cancer Associated with Pregnancy Network, France, highlights the timeliness of the findings: "The concomitant incidence of breast cancer and pregnancy is rising in high-income countries, because of increases in maternal age at the time of first pregnancy."
However, Dr Mir points out that the effect of chemotherapy in pregnant women is under-researched, and further research should address how chemotherapy doses should be worked out for pregnant patients, and longer-term studies need to assess the effect of in utero chemotherapy on children as they grow older: "Very few studies have assessed the long-term outcomes of chemotherapy during pregnancy, and further work is needed to determine whether the foetal risks outlined by Professor Loibl and her colleagues could be minimised with optimal drug selection and dosing."
More information: www.thelancet.com/… 1-9/abstract
Provided by Lancet
- Pregnant women can receive breast cancer chemotherapy without endangering health of their babies Mar 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Unique needs and outcomes of pregnant women with breast cancer identified Dec 11, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Surgery and chemotherapy are possible for pregnant women with breast cancer Feb 09, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Study says children of women exposed to chemotherapy in pregnancy develop as well as other children Feb 09, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Chemotherapy during pregnancy does not seem to cause developmental problems in children Sep 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
58 minutes ago From the top of the ramp (0,5m) started simultaneously movement of sphere, cuboid and cylinder without initial speed. Calculate the speed of those...
Image of a Convex Lens Cut in Half Horizontally
1 hour ago Hello everyone, A friend of mine came up with this question in class and I really do not have a good answer. Suppose you have a convex lens...
Ray tracing throught optical system of thick lenses
1 hour ago Can you advise me a free software that allow to draw rays passed throught system of thick lenses (preferable in 3D)?
Faraday's law on circular wire
2 hours ago In my examples on Faraday's law in my book, they use a drawing of a magnet approaching a circular wire. The changing magnetic flux then induces an...
Specific Exergy vs Specific Flow Exergy
3 hours ago I'm having some difficulty understanding exactly what the difference between the definitions of these values are. As I understand it, in terms of...
The Durability of Bone: Long Falls
12 hours ago I am doing a paper on the physics in Valve's Portal and got interested in the "Long Fall Boots" that prevent any damage no matter how far you fall. I...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
A study of around 1,000 UK mothers and their children, published in The Lancet, has revealed that iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have an adverse effect on children's mental development. The research raises concerns that t ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Nearly three out of four pregnant women experience constipation, diarrhea or other bowel disorders during their pregnancies, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
New research indicates that women's reproductive function may be tied to their immune status. Previous studies have found this association in human males, but not females.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Elsevier today announced the publication of a recent study in Reproductive BioMedicine Online on 5-day old human blastocysts showing that those with an abnormal chromosomal composition can be identified by the rate at whic ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
While global attention has for decades been focused on reducing maternal mortality, population-based data on other causes of death among women of reproductive age has been virtually non-existent. A study conducted by researchers ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Research presented today shows that high-fructose corn syrup can cause behavioural reactions in rats similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine. These results, presented by addiction expert Francesco Leri, ...
16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The DESolve bioresorbable coronary scaffold system achieves good efficacy and safety with low rates of late lumen loss and major coronary adverse events at six months, show first results from the pivotal DESolve Nx trial ...
47 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
More than 40 percent of patients being treated for COPD at a federally funded clinic did not have the disease, researchers found after evaluating the patients with spirometry, the diagnostic "gold standard" for chronic obstructive ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Results from a large observational study reported at EuroPCR 2013 today question whether bivalirudin is superior to heparin in the absence of GPIIb/IIIa blockade, showing similar 30-day mortality in patients with non-ST segment ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Blood thinners are the preferred treatment option to prevent heart attacks, blood clots and stroke, but they are not without risk, and not just because of their side effects. These high-risk drugs, known as anticoagulants, ...
43 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Study leader, Professor John Mathews from the University of Melbourne said this small increase in cancer risk must be weighed against the undoubted benefits from CT scans in diagnosing and monitoring disease.
42 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0