Received: October 8, 2017
Accepted: November 29, 2017
Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2018, 10(1): e2018006 DOI 10.4084/MJHID.2018.006
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assess maternal and fetal outcome of women and newborns who received
chemotherapy during pregnancy to treat Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)in early
stages (IA, IIA), we performed a retrospective analysis of a cohort of
44 pregnant women with HL and early stages, diagnosed and treated
between 1988 to 2013, at a tertiary reference cancer center.
Adjuvant Radiotherapy (RT) is an excellent option in early HL, without pregnancy associated, with overall survival (OS) > 95% at more than ten years.[13,14] RT during pregnancy remains to be controversial, some authors suggested that RT can be employed with adequate protection,[6,9,10,15] but, concern about late toxicities,[16-18] will be considered and RT has been suggested that will be administered after delivery, it is necessary. Thus, we retrospectively analyzed our cohort of pregnant patients with early stage HL that were treated with a uniform schedule, and with a longer follow-up, to observe the impact on OS in mothers and to assess the outcome of the children.
Material and Methods
Abortion was not accepted by any of the women. Six patients preferred to defer the treatment and received single agent, but, in all cases clinical progression of the tumor was observed: a cough, fatigue, dyspnea (that were considered as increased in oppression of the respiratory tract) and increase in tumor mass, measured with clinical or radiologically studies; and complete chemotherapy regimen was administered. The delay in treatment was 8.9 (3 to 12) weeks.
If the patient did not complete the six cycles of chemotherapy during pregnancy, it was restarted after two weeks of delivery to complete the schedule. If RT, was considered necessary, it was four weeks after chemotherapy was completed.
At birth, the newborns were carefully examined by neonatologist team, to detect any congenital abnormalities, height and weight were considered, complete blood counts and serum chemistry were performed. Subsequently, the children were carefully evaluated at 3, 6, 12 and moths, and annually until now. At each visit, biometric data were obtained and compared with normal children of the same, economic and social status.
Psychological test, behavior development and scholar attendance, were performed every three years. Neurological examination was conducted annually. Cardiac evaluation with ultrasound was performed from the 5-year, every 5 years, or when any clinical suspicious.
The mothers were evaluated with respect to response type, duration of progression-free survival and OS. Also fertility after chemotherapy, to observe if the new pregnancies could affect the possibility of relapse.
The study was approved by the Scientific and Ethical Committee of our Institution, and all mothers, and children (< 18 years) for the legal custodian, gave a written consent to publish the results.
|Table 1. Mothers. Clinical characteristics.|
Chemotherapy was well tolerated, only seven cases of moderate granulocytopenia were observed (3.4%). No anemia, thrombocytopenia or other abnormal laboratory tests were observed. Delay on treatment was minimal, and the dose-intensity was > 96%. 42 patients (95%) are alive-free disease and could be considered cured, with an OS of 5.6 to 22.4 (median 11.5) years. One patient relapses and was refractory to salvage therapy, including stem cell transplant.
No obstetrical complications were observed, delivery was without complications. Eight patients were pregnant after chemotherapy, and no evidence of relapse has been observed.
Table 2 show the clinical characteristics of newborns, the 4 newborns that received chemotherapy during the first trimester had low-weight: 1950 to 2100 (median: 2010) g, these fetuses began ABVD regimen at 12, 13, 16, and 16 weeks of pregnancy, but, all recovered the normal weight at a median of 7.4 weeks.[3-10] No congenital abnormalities were observed. Psychological, physical, neurological and cardiac tests were normal. Physical development was according to the standard of the Mexican population. Academic development was similar to children of the same economic and social status. Intelligence tests, including verbal and performance IQ, were within normal ranges, as compared with 77 children of the same age, that were the control group. The children that received chemotherapy during the first trimester had a healthy physical development.
Also, no cardiac, neurological deficiencies were found, and the academic approach was normal without any difference between the children that received chemotherapy during the second or third trimester. A child died at nine years age, for a home accident. No evidence of second neoplasms and acute leukemia have been documented. No statistical differences were observed when univariate tests observed the impact on outcome in these patients (data not shown).
|Table 2. Newborns. Clinical characteristics|
At present, chemotherapy is accepted to be administered in HL during second and third trimester of pregnancy, because of the ABVD regimen, that is the best therapeutic approach in the neoplasm, appear to be safe to the fetus, and the prognosis of the women remain to be excellent with minimal complications.[3,7-12,15] But, most of the reported cases were mothers with advanced stages (IIB, III, IV) and organ-failure secondary to tumor infiltration and needing a prompt treatment.
Treatment of early stages remains to be defined; some reports suggested that chemotherapy in this condition could be deferred, because the prognosis in this stage remain good, and the growth of the tumor until delivery did no affected the possibility of response,[2,3,9,10] or well indicated a single agent, as vinblastine; but, the doses, the schedule, and the growth of the tumor was not reported. However, some patients even in early stage, have some adverse prognostic factors, as bulky mediastinal disease and > 3.
Nodal involvement sites and mediastinal bulky disease, and in this condition no has been addressed the use of a single agent. In the present study, we agree to offer the possibility of deferred treatment, and the six patients who accepted were included in an intensive vigilance. The six patients showed dates of progression of the tumor: increase in the volume of the clinical lymph nodes, and the increased in no-specific symptoms: a cough, dyspnea, fatigue, that we interpreted as compression of the airways. Taking into consideration our results, the treatment with chemotherapy should not be deferred, because mothers have an excellent obstetrical course, no complications during the delivery and 95% of the patients are alive and possibly cured. Also, the newborns did no-show any severe problems, only four children had low-weight that was quickly recovered, and the development of children was normal. Thus, our results confirm that good prognosis of HL during pregnancy.
Some concerns about the patients who were treated for HL during pregnancy regard the relapse that could be most frequent. However, the large study of Weisbull et al., and our data show that no a major risk of relapse of HL exist in patients treated in pregnancy and in the subsequent pregnancies.
The best treatment of early-stage HL and bulky disease is the use of chemotherapy and RT. In some cases, RT has been administered during pregnancy, and apparently without damage to the fetus, but the follow-up is very short to observe the possibility of a carcinogenetic effect and apparition of acute leukemia or solid tumors[16,17] will have to be considered. Taking into consideration these concerns we decided to avoid the use of RT during pregnancy and employed RT after delivery. Our data show that the prognosis is good and RT remains useful when employed after delivery.
We agree that definitive conclusions cannot be drawn, because it a single center report, but, controlled studies are not possible in this setting, and taking into consideration the low number of cases reported, we wait that more people report patients in this clinical condition to have the best information to define the treatment in this group of patients.
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